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Evergreen Goes Rogue: a Suez Canal Horror Story…
Alternative title: An incredible week for boat memes
OK, so what’s happening…?
On Tuesday, The Ever Given, a container ship owned by Evergreen, blocked the Suez Canal, causing a fuss not dissimilar to that of the release of Bridgerton on Netflix. Why did it garner such worldwide attention you ask? By quite literally blocking global supply chains (costing $10b a day).
Six days later, early on Monday morning, The Ever Given had finally been dislodged and sent on it’s merry way — but the crisis nonetheless served as an interesting reminder of how in today’s digital economy, transportation and heavy infrastructure underpins it all.
What is the Suez Canal?
A key waterway connecting trade between the Mediterranean and Red Sea. Without it, ships have to go around the southern tip of Africa to reach Europe, adding significant (and expensive) trip time.
Why was this so newsworthy?
The global supply chain was just getting back on its feet after COVID-19 went for the knock out. Factories closed, trade was disrupted, and consumers felt the hit. Now, a combination of global container shortages, port overflows, rising shipping costs, and a big a** boat halted the surge of shipping around the world.
We often don’t think about how packages get from suppliers to our doors and stores, but roughly 80% of world trade is done through waterways (no , seriously.) So how does that impact you? Everything from laptops to farm animals to cars are shipped through the Suez Canal, meaning we’re likely to see possible short-term shortages and price increases.
Given that the vessel was freed in a relatively short period of time, some experts expect that the shipping industry will be able to absorb the blunder without price increases or delays.
While we’re happy for The Ever Given’s newfound freedom, we can’t help but mourn the end of a week of 10/10 memes. They all float on…
Carbon pricing: Shantay, you stay…!
The Supreme Court of Canada says it’s time for Jason, Scott, and Doug to get with the plan.
Claire Porter Robbins
On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal government’s national carbon tax will remain in place.
According to the CBC, this ruling could be considered “the final chapter of a story that began in June 2008, when Stéphane Dion endorsed a carbon tax and made it the centrepiece of the Liberal Party’s platform.” But, “Stephen Harper’s Conservative government was vociferous in its opposition” and it was not implemented until 2018 by PM Trudeau.
Remind me again: What do I need to know about the carbon tax?
The 2018 Greenhouse Gas Pricing Act requires provinces to implement a minimum price on carbon. Currently, the federal price is $30 per tonne (increasing to $40 on April 1), but that price is set to rise further in coming years (to $170 by 2030). Some Canadians currently receive rebates on that tax through the CRA.
If provinces decline to, the federal government sets a ‘backstop’, basically implementing its own carbon tax. Currently, seven out of 13 provinces are on the backstop plan.
Why was it in court?
Conservative party premiers Doug Ford (Ontario), Scott Moe (Saskatchewan), and Jason Kenney (Alberta) refused to implement provincial carbon pricing plans on the grounds the carbon tax is unconstitutional.
So the Court ruled it was constitutional — now what?
Trudeau’s carbon pricing win represents more than a resolution to a federal-provincial spat. In the 13 years since the carbon price was first proposed, the policy has gone from widely unpopular, to widely accepted. That may have something to do with younger (and older!) voters coming to terms with the threat of climate change, and looking for policies that support greenhouse gas emissions.
In response to Thursday’s ruling, the leader of the federal Conservatives, Erin O’Toole, said if elected he’d immediately scrap “the Liberal carbon tax,” which he said “threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs.” O’Toole also said his party “will put forward a clear and comprehensive climate plan focused on reducing emissions, but we won’t do it on the backs of the poorest and working Canadians.”
Btchcoin will keep you posted on their next move…
Things we read and liked:
Claire recommends this longread about the emotional and economic impacts of inheritance.
This analysis about what’s missing in the conversation about diet culture.
Someone interviewed kids about how to get the Suez Canal cleared. Oliver, 6, suggests: “I would just push the back until it was free and could float away. I’ve seen things like this in my life. Like sticks in the creek.”
Vindhya recommends this piece about how Namibian women are taking on Africa’s largest food retailer.