Well duh, Jimmy. We already price carbon: see coal trades; crude oil prices; natural gas… Our civilization has been pricing carbon since the industrial revolution and before (people used to buy wagon loads of wood, peat or coal then for home heating, cooking etc.). Domestic and international trade has included carbon since at least the Roman era and probably much earlier. And we have traditionally done it for warmth Jimmy, the “halting warming” is relatively new and we call it “cooling” or “air conditioning“.
Putting a price on carbon is the world’s best hope at staving off runaway global warming, said James Hansen, the top climate-change scientist at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Carbon emitted from cars and factories will have to be reduced by an average of 6 percent a year to stabilize Earth’s climate by the end of the century, Hansen said late yesterday in Vienna. Government subsidies to oil, gas and coal companies, worth up to $500 billion worldwide each year, have impeded the transition to alternative technologies, he said.
“The most efficient and economically affordable approach is to put an honest price on the different energies,” Hansen said yesterday at a European Geosciences Union meeting. “Presently, we’re subsidizing fossil fuels and not making them pay for their costs to society.”
Hansen and 17 co-authors, including Colombia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, last month published an updated report that argued real carbon costs are distorted because of their long-term impacts on the climate and people’s health. A fair carbon price, phased in over 10 years, would stimulate development of new technologies that don’t burn fossil fuel.
State spending to cut retail prices of gasoline, coal and natural gas was about $409 billion in 2009, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said in November in its World Energy Outlook. Aid for biofuels, wind power and solar energy was $66 billion.