As I noted yesterday, I recognize that human caused global warming is very likely to be a real problem, that will impact us all during the next several decades. My understanding is nearly all relevant scientists agree this is a case and the gradually shrinking number vocal opponents of the idea usually have some vested interest or ideological bone to pick.
As I have argued in previous posts this is all the reason for those of us with a bias towards voluntary solution to have something to offer to address this problem. I have heard to many dismiss this problem as a socialist, fascist, or globalist scam, as if calling it names, will make the problem go away. Frankly, the alternative notion that all the world’s scientists are simply wrong (corrupt or incompetent) on this issue, actually strikes me as a highly unlikely but equally horrifying.
That said, I would love any suggestions as to how a problem like global warming can be dealt with through voluntary means. I personally like the idea of having leaving open the last ditch option of injecting sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere to simulate the cooling effects of a major volcanic eruption (thereby cancelling out the warming effect), but I recognize many find this problematic, as it is involves intentionally polluting the atmosphere, to fight the effects of other pollution.
I also wonder about voluntary means of reducing levels of emissions. I have argued in my previous post that a great deal of pollution is caused by government intervention encouraging the use of fossil fuels, by keeping them cheap, and extraction firms from liability. I would like to think gradually canceling out these effects would allow alternative fuel sources to become more viable, but I recognize that wind and solar, have been rather heavily subsidized, as well, in some places and still have not reached the technological level needed to take off.
It also should be mentioned, that if we are really seeing problems caused the externality of carbon dioxide emissions, than what can be done to close this externality? Many people use this as a means of justifying a carbon tax, which others rightly point out, would be highly unfair to the developing world, and would require some sort of governing body with global reach to enforce. I think most of us will rightly shutter at this possibility for good reason. The last thing I would want to see is a authoritarian body with global reach.
But this is where we need to start thinking of alternatives. For other pollutants I have argued that those directly impacted should be able to sue for damages. After all, if someone causes harm the appropriate thing for them to do is correct it or at least compensate it. I have argued in the past (though, I am not sure if these arguments ever made it to this blog) that class action suits could be used to allow disparate populations to settle with an array of local non-point source polluters. However the idea of doing something like this on a global, or level strikes me as difficult to say the least, and it seems likely to need some sort of global legal system to oversee. This bring us back to the same problem that troubles myself and countless others about some sort of global carbon tax.
So at this point, I have to ask what other solutions are available that can be carried out through voluntary means? I confess not to know much about the time frame or severity of the problems to be expected from global warming, but I suspect it is a major cause for concern.