LETTER: Control of emissions must relate to jurisdiction

Reader Maurice Rhodes continues the carbon emissions letters debate.

Re: “Different ways of looking at carbon data” and “Skepticism on carbon reduction not well-founded”

In regard to Ron Robinson’s comment on my letter: Emissions per capita is as much nonsense as is emissions per square mile. The only thing that counts is the tonnage of emissions in the area of jurisdiction.

As to Mr. Robinson’s objection to my terminology, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck then it is probably a duck.

My point is we have absolutely no jurisdiction over what the high carbon emitters do and until they make a move our sacrifices are meaningless.

My use of 2013 data is the best available; Mr Robinson’s use of a 2008 set of data from one source is very old. Of course we can search for alternates now: as long as they are economically feasible. For example solar is very feasible in Phoenix, Australia and Ryadh and may be economical in certain places in Canada but hasn’t nearly the potential to satisfy our needs.

In reference to Clinton Swanson’s letter, the point must surely be obvious: the point of view of an environmentalist is “what can I do to reduce carbon emissions?” So we will drive small cars etc.

My original letter was based on the fact that meaningful control of carbon emissions must be related to the jurisdiction — i.e who has the jurisdiction to make the laws to reduce carbon emission contamination of the world’s biosphere? That was precisely why I used The Economist figures by country!

In other words per person statistics, while good propaganda and another way of presentation, are meaningless in terms of how we really influence the reduction of carbon. Similarly, comparisons by square mile, while interesting, are equally meaningless in terms of laws required for the big emitters to make reductions. BC’s carbon tax is also useless as it is regarded as a cost of business to be passed on to the consumer.

My argument in raising this issue at all is to help understand why it would be whipping ourselves unnecessarily for Canada to make laws on carbon emission reduction which will harm our fragile economy when the real sources of emissions are not under our control — or any other, for that matter.

While we can hope that the recent propaganda from dead-duck US President Barack Obama and the Chinese president come to fruition, let’s not can our economy until there is movement where it counts.

Maurice A. Rhodes

Nelson

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