Drivers in North Vancouver may soon notice climate change warning labels on gasoline pumps as they fill their cars to go to work.
The municipality is the first in Canada to have committed to the warning labels, which will lecture drivers on things outside of their control.
An example of the warning: “Use of this fuel product contributes to climate change which may put up to 30% of species at a likely risk of extinction.”
Never mind the debate about whether or not humans are actually responsible for climate change, or even if we are, whether there's a reasonable possibility of changing it back again.
My problem with the labels is that it really doesn't serve any use. People don't fill up gasoline because they're addicted to it like cigarettes, where health warning can help encourage personal change.
We fill up with gasoline because the overwhelming majority of all vehicles on the planet run on, for lack of a better term, fossil fuels.
It's not as though the warning label could encourage you to use solar, hydrogen or nuclear materials for your car instead. You are forced to use gasoline because, well, that's your sole option.
I think most people would gladly forgo the pain of chugging $100 of gasoline into their cars every few days for the privilege of driving to work to earn a living, feed their family and pay taxes.
But we don't have a choice.
What's ironic about the gasoline warnings is how desperately all tiers of government rely on the planet-killing fuel for their own economic survival.
Metro Vancouver has the highest gas prices in Canada, largely due to exorbitant taxes levied on drivers.
Assuming a base fuel price of 88.2 cents, drivers must pay a 10 cent federal excise tax, a 5% federal sales tax, a 6.67 cent carbon tax, a 14.5 cent provincial fuel tax, and if you're unfortunate enough to live in an area serviced by the regional transportation authority, 17 cents per litre goes to TransLink.
Suddenly your 88.2 cent gasoline is $1.39.07, nearly a 60% markup on the retail price.
The federal government collects $5 billion per year in excise taxes, and $1.6 billion per year in GST revenues from gasoline. Collectively, provincial governments collect $8 billion per year in taxes from gasoline and diesel.
Roughly $2 billion collected goes into the Gas Tax Fund for municipal infrastructure.
This means that the gasoline North Vancouver is warning people not to buy will directly benefit the municipality in returns from infrastructure dollars.
If that isn't hypocritical I just really don't know what is.
(CC-License: CC BY Photo: Markus Spiske / raumrot.com)
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