Letters to the editor – January 21, 2021

Carbon tax absolutely necessary

Farm leaders are spewing gloom and doom about the effects of a carbon tax. Scientists are telling us that we need to drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels within the next 10 years to avoid climate catastrophe.

Governments around the world have spent billions of dollars of taxpayer money in research and development and subsidizing of green energy. There has been considerable success in developing reliable sources of green energy.

As greener energy is developed, it begins to replace fossil fuels. The natural market response is lower prices for fossil fuels. Lower prices for fossil fuels encourage people to buy more gas-guzzling vehicles and fly away for sunny holidays.

To reduce the burning of fossil fuels, governments can implement a maze of laws and regulations or they can influence the market with a carbon tax.

The other climate proposal in the news lately is to raise the ethanol and biofuel mandate. These initiatives were implemented to reduce emissions, although overall results are questionable. Ethanol and biofuel mandates have cost North American consumers billions of dollars in increased costs. Most of the money ended up in the pockets of grain and oilseed producers. I hear no farmers calling for an end to this climate change program.

The world must reduce the burning of fossil fuels dramatically and quickly, even if it affects our standard of living and our lifestyle. This won’t happen if everyone points fingers and protects their self interests.

Any climate plan without a significant carbon tax is doomed to fail.

Darrel Cunningham,

Lintlaw, Sask.

And the band played on

About 30 years ago when public computer networking and cellphones were just getting into use, six or seven of the boys and I went to the Progress Show in Regina for a day — a four and half hour drive each way.

I encouraged them to go to the smaller vendors and see what’s new. You can go to Deere and Case any day, I told them. But they didn’t agree. So, we split up. They gave me a new cellphone, and they kept the other one so we could keep in touch.

After we parted I could hear a band in the distance playing O Canada. I was overwhelmed. It was a beautiful, clear prairie morning. I could go where I wanted. And didn’t I have the biggest farm show in Canada in front of me? A great moment for a Saskatchewan farmer.

I hoped to catch that band at some point during the day, but never ran into it. Sometimes I could hear it in the distance, though, playing our national anthem. A great day to be a Canadian farmer.

About 4:30, it was high time to get back to the van. I started for the parking lot but ran into the tractor pull. Everyone loves a tractor pull. As I sat in the stands to watch I also looked around for the boys. Where had they been all day? I hadn’t heard from them at all. Under the roar of the tractors I could hear that band, but I had run out of time to find it. I walked to the van. The boys were all waiting and they weren’t happy. The first question was barked: “Why didn’t you answer the phone?”

“You never called,” I said.

“You stand right there,” one said.

I could do no less, my arms full of brochures and bags of farm show goodies.

He dialled the other phone. From somewhere, deep in my pocket, that band began to play O Canada.

Elias Entz,

Eatonia, Sask.

Farmers are compensated for farming practices

The Western Producer’s front page article, “Carbon Tax Hike Sparks Outrage,” from the Dec. 17 edition was well written, but contains some untruth.  

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association’s Alberta vice-president, Stephen Vandervalk, is quoted saying, “grain farmers have been using sustainable farming technology for decades yet have been given no recognition for our carbon sequestering.”

The first part of the quote is correct. I have been using sustainable farming technology for decades. In fact, I served as a director and president of the former Alberta Conservation Tillage Society.

The last part of the quote is simply not true. As a former member of the WCWGA, this bothers me.

I have been receiving a cheque every year for over five years from my aggregator for the carbon credits generated by my farming practices. I realize things vary between provinces, but this statement was made by a leader, who is a fellow Albertan. It is not correct.

Murray Sankey,

Veteran, Alta.

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