Haida Gwaii would be a good place to try carbon fee-and-dividend

Being an archipelago, it would be relatively easy to keep track of fossil fuels coming in from the outside

The islands of Haida Gwai (formerly known as the Queen Charlottes) might make a good place to test carbon fee-and-dividend.

Your editor recently had the opportunity to watch the movie “Haida Gwai: On the Edge of the World.” It left me impressed me with the efforts by the islands’ residents to connect with Nature and with their history.

Watching the movie also gave me an idea.

As some readers are aware, over the past few years I have been interested in a proposal to help control human-caused climate change called carbon fee-and-dividend.

In 2015 my friend Jean Nelson and I cycled nearly 500 km from Toronto to Ottawa to promote nationwide carbon fee-and-dividend. Last year we cycled from Clearwater to north of Kelowna for the same purpose.

Under carbon fee-and-dividend there would be a fee on all fossil fuels, similar to a carbon tax. Unlike a tax, however, all the money collected would not go into general government revenues, but would be distributed to everyone as equal dividends.

It is estimated that, under carbon fee-and-dividend, 2/3 of the population would break even or receive more dividends than they would pay in fossil fuel fees.

In fact, the bottom 20 per cent of earners could expect to receive dividend cheques 150 per cent greater than what they would pay in fees.

Climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, the international organization Citizens Climate Lobby and others support carbon fee-and-dividend.

Although it might seem to be primarily an environmental and social justice proposal, it recently was endorsed by a group of prominent Republicans in the United States.

The dividend side of carbon fee-and-dividend is essentially the same as what is called universal basic income – a form of social security in which all citizens or residents of a country would receive an unconditional sum of money, without regard to whether they receive an income from elsewhere.

Several trials of universal basic income have been done.

These include the MINCOME experiment in Dauphin, MB, in the 1970s. This resulted in some reduction in work hours but also more time spent studying and an improvement in health.

A study of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who receive dividends from casino earnings, found them to have lower instances of behavioural and emotional disorders among the children, an improved relationship between parents and their children, and a reduction in parental alcohol consumption.

We have had several trials of universal basic income at various locations around the world but, so far as I am aware, none of carbon fee-and-dividend.

It would be extremely useful to have such a trial done and it seems to me that Haida Gwai would be the ideal place to do it.

Being an archipelago, it would be relatively easy to keep track of fossil fuels coming in from the outside.

Those fossil fuels are already being charge for B.C.’s carbon tax. Adding a surcharge for the carbon fee-and-dividend experiment (or reducing the tax for the islands only) would therefore be a relatively simple exercise.

Distributing the dividends could be done by cheque or through direct deposit.

It seems to me that now really is the time to take action on climate change – and that a trial of carbon fee-and-dividend on Haida Gwaii would be a useful way to do it.

 

Just Posted

Buy-Low helps Highway Rescue

Clearwater and District Highway Rescue gets $1,000 the store won in Dairyland contest

VIDEO: Researchers rely on drones to survey aftermath of B.C. wildfires

UBC researchers are using aerial drones to study the historic 2017 wildfires in the province

Report gives details on proposal to relocate Grade 7s

According to the report, there has been some interest generated in the communities to relocate

This weekend at the Sportsplex

Here is the schedule for the North Thompson Sportsplex for the weekend of Dec. 15 – 17

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

Most Read