In 2008, British Columbia passed a carbon tax and surprise! it’s working really well. Not only is it reducing pollution, because the tax was designed to be revenue neutral, it’s resulted in a reduction to both business and income taxes.
If the goal was to reduce global warming pollution, then the BC carbon tax totally works. Since its passage, gasoline use in British Columbia has plummeted, declining seven times as much as might be expected from an equivalent rise in the market price of gas, according to a recent study by two researchers at the University of Ottawa. That’s apparently because the tax hasn’t just had an economic effect: It has also helped change the culture of energy use in BC. “I think it really increased the awareness about climate change and the need for carbon reduction, just because it was a daily, weekly thing that you saw,” says Merran Smith, the head of Clean Energy Canada. “It made climate action real to people.”
It also saved many of them a lot of money. Sure, the tax may cost you if you drive your car a great deal, or if you have high home gas heating costs. But it also gives you the opportunity to save a lot of money if you change your habits, for instance by driving less or buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle. That’s because the tax is designed to be “revenue neutral”—the money it raises goes right back to citizens in the form of tax breaks. Overall, the tax has brought in some $5 billion in revenue so far, and more than $3 billion has then been returned in the form of business tax cuts, along with over $1 billion in personal tax breaks, and nearly $1 billion in low-income tax credits (to protect those for whom rising fuel costs could mean the greatest economic hardship). According to the BC Ministry of Finance, for individuals who earn up to $122,000, income tax rates in the province are now Canada’s lowest.
A thief in Guelph, the safest city in Canada, recently surprised a family by returning the stolen goods with an apology note and $50 extra for the ripped screen. The burglar hasn’t been caught, and police are not sure how they’d be charged if they did end up being caught.
Via @ramintweets / @jonahkeri
The Canadian Mint halted production of the penny yesterday in a move that announced last spring. This change (get it) will hopefully spread south to the US. (Actually that pun doesn’t work at all.) Cash purchases will be rounded up or down to the nearest five cent increment, but credit or check payments will still pay the correct amount.
The decision to phase out the penny was due to its excessive and rising cost of production relative to face value, the increased accumulation of pennies by Canadians in their households, environmental considerations, and the significant handling costs the penny imposes on retailers, financial institutions and the economy in general.
Between the new glow in the dark dinosaur quarter and getting rid of the penny, Canada money is kicking US money’s ass. Holy crap.
The quarter, being released by the Royal Canadian Mint April 16, features Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai, a large herbivore whose bone fragments were discovered by Grande Prairie, Alta., science teacher Al Lakusta in 1974… Photo-luminescent technology that wonâ€™t wear off means the regular image of the dinosaur on the quarter will transform into a glowing skeleton in the dark.
Via Stellar Interesting
Person 1: I just don’t understand it, it’s so useless, who would be against getting rid of the penny?
Person 2: We’ll never get rid of the penny because we’d have to round change to the nickle, and people don’t want to get more Nickelsback.
Person 1 [quielty]: I didn’t think the last album was that bad.
I hadn’t realized that there was no women’s ski jump in the Olympics. That seems dumb to me, not because my wife kicks my ass at Wii Ski Jumping, which she does, but because this is 2010. The Time article mentions that they’re doing Ski Cross this year, which is like motorcross on skis, and we all certainly remember the abomination that was Ski Ballet, don’t we?
In 2005, Gian Franco Kasper, FIS president and a member of the IOC, said that he didn’t think women should ski jump because the sport “seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view.”
I’m not breaking any new ground by calling the IOC a stupid organization, but they are. They are very stupid.
For what it’s worth, the world’s longest ski jumps.