|Date Published||February 28, 2017|
|Article Author||Steve Chapman|
|Article Type||February 2017 Issue|
|Tags||Carbon Tax, E&P, Oil & Gas: Government, S&S|
The law of attraction is never more potent or pervasive than on New Years. Although, technically a day no different than any other, its particular placement in an artificially created calendar creates the illusion of a clean slate suited for new resolutions and life changes. The law of attraction beacons because it only requires a person to believe what they desire is possible and the universe will deliver.
January 1st, being the start of a calendar year, is also often the start of new taxes. There have been changes in laws and many other regulatory events. In this case, specifically, the carbon tax.
Having a clear, fervent, and concise image of what you desire is a necessary first step in taking action, but real change is never that easy. There is a science in transforming resolutions to reality. It’s not always an exact science, but to be successful, certain resources need to be allocated quite specifically. Like a recipe, the right ingredients in the wrong order or proportions can create an undesired outcome. Often, the barriers that prevent success are also artificial creations of our own making.
One of the most critical obstacles to the law of attraction is that other people may be trying to attract the exact opposite effect. Nothing in this world occurs in solitude. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” You are either starring in your own movie or being a player in someone else’s.
Brad Wall of Saskatchewan
(and many Albertans) has resolved
to not see the implementation of a
carbon tax, which is negatively
impacting a damaged economy.
Brad Wall of Saskatchewan (and many Albertans) has resolved to not see the implementation of a carbon tax, which is negatively impacting a damaged economy. Wall desires more jobs and less financial bleeding in his province. Sadly, Premier Notley does not share that priority. Prime Minister Trudeau, Notley, and other Canadian leaders have embraced the carbon tax as an essential first step to arresting climate change. These are two outcomes that are diametrically opposite each other. Which destiny will the universe manifest?
Whose law of attraction is stronger?
Realistically, the carbon tax amounts to pennies on the dollar and will not in and of itself plunge the country into a dark pit of economic despair. Nor is it a powerful enough inducement to see radical changes in behaviour. That is a historical fact.
There is no question the accumulative effect of taxation can be damaging if unfairly applied. If balancing the budget leads to more people out of work and an overall hardship to the country, then the budget is working at cross purposes to the health of the nation. Sometimes, it is simply important for government to at least appear to be on the side of its people.
Frank McKenna, the former Liberal premier of New Brunswick, put action to his words when he said, “The best social safety net is a job,” and devoted his 10 years in office to job creation and the growth of small business in his province.
The economy of Canada and the welfare of its citizens is simply too important to be left to a theory that is faulty at best. Government has repeatedly introduced taxation to change behaviour with mixed and negligible results. Minute increases in gas prices do not change how people drive or the vehicles they use.
There is simply no evidence to suggest a carbon tax will make Canadians more energy conservative than we already are. Canadian companies have worked diligently over the past decade to reduce our carbon footprint, not because of taxation, but because Canadians care about the environment and the world we live in. That trend is expected to continue as more education and information is available. Historically, Canadians innovate and respond better to incentives and revenue opportunities than to avoid taxes.
It appears to many observers that it seems more important for Notley and Trudeau to be seen doing something about the problem, than actually solving it. The 1982 National Energy Program was inspired with good intentions, but it was so badly implemented and managed that it almost destroyed the Canadian economy, especially in Alberta. The Long Rifle Registry was inspired with good intentions also, but again, it was so badly implemented and managed that it cost hundreds of millions of dollars and did not prevent a single crime or save a single life.
We all know what the road to hell is paved with. Good intentions should inspire sound, tested, and effective solutions. Change is only effective and inspired when it actually creates new choices, alternatives, and options an individual, company, or country has not implemented before. And, each step is then thoroughly tested and measured before we continue down the path.
At its core, the law of attraction is akin to wishing and praying. Notley and Trudeau are hoping a new tax will solve a problem that has been decades in the making. Like a new fad diet on New Years Day, we hope it will melt away weight gains that have been building for years.
It is clear to most – Brad Wall being one – the costs of this tax are far more damaging in the short term than any long term benefits we will see. And, most applaud his courage at keeping to his ideals and standing up for them. Hopefully, the next step will be to offer a new vision of climate leadership that helps solve the problem without creating energy poverty.
Most people falter in doing the right thing, not because they do not know what it is, but because it is simply difficult to do. It is time our leaders stop trying to prove they have the right philosophy and rather simply focus on doing the right things as often as possible that help the most people they can.
Effective change management has more to do with awareness and action than it does with attraction. More taxation is never a path to enlightenment or to effective behaviour change. Trying to herd people from the rear is never as effective as actually leading people from the front. What we need are more leaders who inspire with vision and conviction.