No one knows if humans are are contributing to global climate change. Both sides have legitimate fears about the effects of climate change on society. We can pursue a middle course that satisfies all parties.
Climate change believers fear that our rapid release of hundreds of millions of years of carbon stored in coal, oil and other fossil fuels is going to disrupt our climate, making earth less habitable for plants, animals and humans. They demand the implementation of an international mechanism to reduce carbon emissions to prevent potential massive ecological disaster.
Climate change skeptics fear that authoritarians are attempting to use the climate change issue to take control over the world’s economies by forcing everyone to get ‘authorization’ to emit carbon. They’ll resist any scheme, especially an international one, to regulate people’s production of carbon.
Cap and trade is a disastrous policy for both sides. Governments have no incentive to lower the cap enough to seriously reduce carbon while myriad of government agencies and industries will spring up to pressure both individuals and businesses to pay for their carbon. The policy is terrible.
A carbon tax is the obvious solution supported by nearly all the world’s economists. A carbon tax would be levied on the fossil fuels that produce carbon. This tax is easy to implement and requires virtually no government expansion. It creates incentives for the government to tax carbon and for the public at large to develop alternative energy sources. We can solve the carbon problem by steadily and predictably increasing this tax over the years.