Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

He is also a columnist for Montreal's outstanding weekly The Suburban.

His LCC columns are archived here

Posted 05.28.06


Taxman, reward that tree keeper

Spring has arrived. Our trees are bursting with new leaves and new life. And we Canadians value our trees very highly.

Where I live, in the retirement community of Beaconsfield, Quebec, the scale of most valued things in life would go like this:

  • Trees
  • Dogs
  • People
We worship our trees. We are the Druids of the 21st century. And now we find out that trees can save the planet.

Trees capture the CO2 released from the burning of fossil fuels and prevent it from being released into the atmosphere. This is called carbon sequestration.

And it is cited in a recent letter to the Canadian government signed by 1500 scientists urging us to protect our trees.

The letter also points out that Canadians are custodians of an enormous Boreal Forest, considered the biggest carbon storehouse on earth.

This means that we are at the politically correct end of the carbon cycle; rather than being a carbon source, we are a carbon end.

Our trees can remove CO2 released by the burning of fossil fuels from the atmosphere and incorporate it into the biomass, like a vast pollution filter, mitigating global warming.

I realize that some Philistines among you will think, "Oh no, not another attempt to smother our economy by the bearded, bicycle-riding, Birkenstock-wearing political left."

But hold on there a minute…this could be an enormous opportunity.

If a Middle Eastern country, being a carbon source, gets to pump it out of the ground, cash the cheques, and make trouble, surely we, at the other end, should be able to reclaim it from the atmosphere, store it, cash the cheques, and make peace.

But where are the cheques?

Our part in this carbon cycle is just as important as theirs, maybe more so. Surely our trees should be rewarded. And who speaks for the trees? Our government. And who does our government represent? You and me.

So far Prime Minister Harper has refused to ratify the Kyoto Accord. The reason is that Canada would end up paying money to other, lesser nations in order to continue doing what we do now for free. And this goes against the first principle of business.

But this procrastination could now pay off handsomely. The fact that our trees are not even mentioned in the Kyoto accord is a gross oversight, and an injustice.

According to the ideals of Kyoto, on any International Carbon Exchange market, we must insist that Canada be compensated for its trees.

Since the world doesn't want us to cut our trees down, Prime Minister Harper should cut a deal at the G8 summit in Germany.

How about $1000 for every Canadian, per annum?

I like the sound of that. (These cheques should be made out to each Canadian citizen individually; if they were to go through the Canadian government, we'd never see a penny.) Get tough! Thirty billion a year or the Dutch are under six metres of water before you can say David Suzuki. Heck, Exxon Mobil earns more than that each year in profits alone.

And domestically, tree-keeping should be encouraged too.

Homeowners with trees on their property should be given tax credits. And municipalities that contain many trees should be compensated by municipalities that have few trees.

For instance, the city of Montreal, which is mostly asphalt, concrete, and garbage, should transfer tax dollars to the suburbs, where there are more trees than panhandlers.

(These cheques should also be made out and addressed to each individual homeowner; so the money doesn't end up disappearing up the rear end of a city council.)

Spring is here, and with it comes spring fashion. This year it's green.