The shame of the upcoming federal election, according to London Free Press Editor-in-Chief Paul Berton, is that it isn't going to be "about the environment or the Liberal plan for a carbon tax." Unfortunately for Berton, such vague and insubstantial objects suffer from association with a vague and insubstantial preposition, and vice versa.
We may not get a carbon tax this year or next or even the year after. But a carbon tax, or something very much like it, is coming whether we wish to admit it or not.A carbon tax by this description as an irresistible force of nature — like global warming? — would hardly then be worth a debate in the first place. But Berton does not entirely believe his own scoldings, or his rebuke that "common sense tells us, even if some refuse to admit it, that a carbon tax … can create as many jobs as it might cost" would be unnecessary. Common sense has apparently retired from public life and become Berton's own personal therapist.
The abstract of Berton's dissertation is that a carbon tax is good for the environment because the environment is good for a carbon tax because a carbon tax is good for … etc. With as little effort, readers can conclude that a means to an end may just as well be an end to our means.