Clearwater duo plan carbon cycle

Carbon fee-and-dividend is the best way to speed the conversion from fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy

When nine-year-old Sophia Orlando of Sudbury

When nine-year-old Sophia Orlando of Sudbury

“Nine years ago, when her third daughter was born, Cathy Orlando vowed that she would do all she could to ensure that her children would grow up in a world safe from climate change.”

That’s how e-Petition 297 begins. The online petition to Canada’s parliament calls for nationwide carbon fee-and-dividend as a way to help control global warming.

It was posted by Citizen Climate Lobby-Canada, of which Orlando is now national manager.

Some readers of the Times might recall that last year your editor and longtime North Thompson Valley KeithJeanresident Jean Nelson pedalled from Toronto to Ottawa to promote a petition calling for carbon fee-and-dividend as a way to control global warming.

This year we’re at it again. Nelson and I plan another long-distance cycle to promote a carbon fee-and-dividend petition, except this time it’s from Clearwater to Kelowna and it’s to promote e-Petition 297.

Our plan is to leave Clearwater on Wednesday, Aug. 3 and cycle through Kamloops, Salmon Arm and Vernon to arrive in Kelowna on Aug. 10.

What’s the big deal with carbon fee-and-dividend?

First off, don’t believe any of the baloney that the science around human-caused global warming isn’t settled. It is. Carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas and the amount of it in our atmosphere is increasing rapidly. The only questions are, if we let things continue as they are going, whether conditions will become catastrophic or simply very bad, and when the bad things will happen.

The best way to speed the conversion from fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy would be by adding a tax or fee to the cost of fossil fuels. That’s what we’ve been doing in British Columbia with our carbon tax and, by all accounts, it’s been working. The amount of fossil fuels being used in the province has gone down while the economy has performed better than the Canadian average.

In order to have a hope of being adequately effective, however, the tax or fee on fossil fuels would need to be considerably higher than B.C.’s carbon tax and it would have to be global, meaning worldwide

The best way to make such a tax or fee politically acceptable would be to return all the money collected to the people as rebates or dividends – in other words, carbon fee-and-dividend.

Of all the solutions proposed for global warming – regulation, subsidies, cap-and-trade, geo-engineering – carbon fee-and-dividend faces the strongest opposition.

Why? Because it is the only proposed solution that gets at the root of the problem. Without it, none of the others have a hope of making a meaningful difference.

If you want to add your name to e-Petition 297, it’s at

If you want to know more about Citizens Climate Lobby-Canada, its website is at

Inset photo: Clearwater Times editor Keith McNeill (l) and longtime North Thompson Valley resident Jean Nelson plan to cycle from Clearwater to Kelowna in August to promote e-Petition 297, which calls for nationwide carbon fee-and-dividend.

Times file photo