The climate problem presents a profound challenge to the current economic paradigm. Markets have largely evolved as systems for rewarding those who externalise the most. Pricing in the environmental cost of burning fossil fuels will entail a system-level reworking of the global economy.
There’s also the problem of what kinds of policy are politically viable. Who is going to get elected by proposing to make our fossil fuel powered lifestyle more expensive?
This is where we can make a difference as an alliance of concerned citizens. It’s vital that we let our elected representatives know that we want them to take bold and decisive action on this issue. We want a price on carbon that reflects its environmental cost. And there are solutions to the impact this has on prices for consumers. The revenues from an upstream carbon price can be redistributed to citizens as a dividend, as in Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Fee and Dividend policy proposal.