Emmanuel Macron’s carbon tax collides with France’s forgotten, by Konrad Yakabuski.
The message of the elites, as internalized by the gilets jaunes, is that they are engaged in immoral behaviours simply by virtue of their dependence on industrial jobs and their cars. The gilets jaunes argue they’re just trying to make an honest living.
On Wednesday, Mr. Macron aimed to strike a compromise between the elites worried about “the end of the world” and the gilets jaunes just worried about “the end of the month.” While he stood firm on the first instalment of the fuel-tax increase set to take effect in 2019, he promised the carbon-tax increase in the following three years will be adjusted to take into account the market price of diesel gasoline. The compromise has failed to satisfy anyone.
There are parallels between what is happening in France and almost every other developed country, including Canada, as comfortable urban elites seek to impose their climate change agenda on a broader population just struggling to pay its bills and earn an honest buck.
No amount of hand-wringing over the fate of the planet, be it by the IPCC or by the likes of Ms. Binoche, is going to resonate with people who do not feel the elites have their interests at heart.
An elite whose main theme is how morally superior it is to its countrymen is in a poor position to call for sacrifice.