Times editor to cycle from Toronto to Ottawa for global warming petition

Carbon fee-and-dividend is a way to control human-caused global warming that is advocated by climate scientist James Hansen

Times editor Keith McNeill is on the other side of the camera for a change as he collects names in Brookfield Mall recently for his Care2 petition that calls for a referendum on carbon fee-and-dividend.

Times editor Keith McNeill is on the other side of the camera for a change as he collects names in Brookfield Mall recently for his Care2 petition that calls for a referendum on carbon fee-and-dividend.

Readers of the Times possibly are aware that, for the past few months, your editor has been trying to collect names on an online petition he has drawn up that calls for a Canada-wide referendum on carbon fee-and-dividend.

I have written an editorial in the Times about it, sent letters to the editor to other newspapers and collected names at Brookfield Mall. The petition presently has close to 30,000 names – not bad, but still far from the 400,000 target.

Carbon fee-and-dividend is a way to control human-caused global warming that is advocated by James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists.

The fee would be charged on all fossil fuels, in a manner similar to a carbon tax. Unlike a carbon tax, however, the money would not go into general government revenue but would be distributed to every adult as equal and repeating dividends.

A Canada-wide carbon fee-and-dividend set at the same level as B.C.’s carbon tax (which is what is called for in the petition) would generate about $20 billion per year, enough to give every adult living in Canada close to $1,000 per year in dividends.

This would reduce both the use of fossil fuels plus the growing economic inequality in this country.

The bottom 10 per cent could expect to receive 150 per cent more in dividends than they would pay out in fossil fuel fees.

Two-thirds of households would break even or receive more in dividends than they pay in fees.

For the next step in promoting the petition your editor plans to cycle from Toronto to Ottawa, a distance of about 450 km.

Longtime readers of the Times might recall that in 1987 and in 1989 your editor (then just a reporter with the newspaper) walked from Clearwater to Toronto, a distance of about 4,000 km.

Last fall, when I was in Toronto on another matter, I walked another eight km and finished off at the Rouge Hill GO Station northeast of Toronto.

This spring’s bike ride will will begin from where I left off last fall– the Rouge Hill GO station –and will continue to Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

As noted in the article on page A2, the Times this year has won first place from Canadian Community Newspapers Association for best editorial page in its circulation class.

Your editor plans to attend the CCNA awards gala, which will be held in Toronto on May 22.

From there the plan is to cycle to Ottawa, arriving in the nation’s capital on June 2 – in time to take part in the windup of several days of lobbying for carbon fee-and-dividend being done by Citizens Climate Lobby – Canada.

Along the way, I intend to talk with as many small town newspapers as possible (as well as maybe a few big city ones) about the importance of carbon fee-and-dividend.

There are a few interesting sidebars to the upcoming bike trip but they will be announced later.

 

For those who want to support this initiative by putting their name on the petition, the address is: www.thepetitionsite.com/850/161/365/petition-for-a-referendum-on-carbon-fee-and-dividend-for-canada/.