COP26: Why Justin Trudeau talks about a global carbon tax rather than production cuts that could save humanity

It's the latest incarnation of the Big Stall, which was covered extensively in a 2018 book by Burnaby writer Donald Gutstein

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      Yesterday, I wrote a column exposing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's hypocrisy in acting like a climate hero at the COP26 meetings in Glasgow.

      It obviously had little impact. That's because after the column appeared, the subservient media slavishly documented his efforts to promote a global carbon tax.

      Reporters covering COP26 have obviously not read Burnaby author Donald Gutstein's The Big Stall: How Big Oil and Think Tanks Are Blocking Action on Climate Change in Canada.

      That's why they don't understand the game that Trudeau is playing. For Big Oil, the goal is to avoid mandated production cuts at all costs.

      You'll hear Trudeau talk about an "emissions" cap on the industry but never a "production" cut. It fools the media.

      Press the Liberal government on how to achieve these so-called emissions cuts as the oil industry continues jacking up production, and the response is invariably "technology".

      Trudeau simply trusts Big Oil's pledge that it will work toward carbon neutrality.

      Nowadays, the Big Stall is centred on suckering the media with fanciful stories about storing emissions underground. It's never been proven to come close to the scale necessary to prevent us all from being fried.

      Gutstein's 2018 book revealed the Trudeau strategy in stark detail: go for a carbon tax, not production cuts.

      That's because with a carbon tax, the Canadian oil industry can continue ramping up the export of dirty, diluted bitumen. And that would keep money flowing into provincial and federal treasuries and prop up the Canadian dollar.

      Donald Gutstein's 2018 book, The Big Stall, explains why Big Oil prefers a carbon tax over measures that could actually stave off climate disaster.

      Don't get me wrong: a carbon tax is desirable. But it will never come close to saving our collective hides as long as Big Oil continues developing new fossil-fuel infrastructure, subsidized by Canadian taxpayers.

      Last year, Environmental Defence estimated that the Trudeau government subsidized and supported this industry to the tune of $18 billion.

      It's worth repeating: Big Oil prefers a carbon tax over production cuts.

      So now, Trudeau is doing its bidding by advancing this idea internationally with one of his favourite phrases: "putting a price on pollution". It's been a masterful performance.

      I would like to say that history won't be kind to Trudeau for not urging a sharp decline in the production of oil and gas. 

      But there won't be much of a history to document if this game of political charades ends up in societal breakdown and widespread famine.

      As the leader of one of world's major oil-producing countries, Trudeau is a far smoother practitioner of international public relations than Vladimir Putin, Mohammed bin Salman, and Nicolás Maduro could ever dream of. They should be sending Trudeau some bouquets of flowers in appreciation for his efforts on their behalf. 

      But at what point will world leaders realize that Canada is conning the world by diverting attention away from production cuts?

      Probably when it's way too late to do anything about it.

      Video: Watch Justin Trudeau speech in 2017 after accepting an award from the oil industry.