Mick wrote: Cap and trade which is the current conventional wisdom, hasn't been discussed. Increased prices as a result of either cap and trade or a direct tax on fuel and the economic consequences has not been discussed.
Let me start off by saying that I very much believe in global warming. I'll also state that I believe cap-and-trade is a total scam. Is cap-and-trade really the "conventional wisdom?" I'm old enough to remember where and when cap-and-trade originated - it was a conservative big business idea, promulgated by Wall Street in the 1990s because it looked like a great money-making scheme. The Economist
magazine (which I used to read) was most enthusiastic about this idea, at the same time they were ridiculing the whole notion of global warming. They didn't believe in global warming, but they did believe in stock market money-making schemes. Just like trading derivatives, it doesn't matter if the underlying "value" of "carbon credits" is fictitious - the idea of a Ponzi scheme is to make money, never mind that what you're trading in isn't real.
It's ironic that today, cap-and-trade is regarded as a wacky idea of liberals - an Al Gore/George Soros scheme in cahoots with climatologists to take over the universe and impose a "New World Order." It's probably got something to do with gay marriage and Obama's birth certificate too.
Carbon taxes - I can see some value in heavily taxing gas guzzlers to push people towards more fuel-efficient vehicles. However, it's a stop-gap measure at best, not a long-term solution.
As for that elusive long-term solution, I don't expect it to be easy. A nice start would be achieving zero population growth, but I am not optimistic - we're on target to have 10 billion people by 2050 (there were 2.5 billion when I was born). Of course, we may be back down to 2.5 billion by 2100, but not because of a falling birth rate, but rather, an escalating death rate, caused by our failure to deal with global warming.
Among those who seriously want to solve the problem, there is an unfortunate division into two camps, pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear. I'm not shy of admitting I'm in the pro-nuclear camp. The anti-nuclear camp thinks we can achieve zero-carbon with wind and solar power, and I actually wish they were correct - but I believe they are wrong.
More than likely, we'll go on denying the problem because it's so much easier than trying to solve it. Judging from some of the comments in this thread, denial seems to be very popular. And that "solution" will work for awhile. If you're already in your 50s or 60s, maybe you can squeak by and die before global warming plunges the world into crisis. If you're young or have kids (and actually care what happens to them), then you ought to be thinking about how to solve this.