The back story: I have a playdate tonight. We were chatting last night, and the following conversation transpired:
me: 'k. Anything in particular you'd like me to fret about ahead of time?
him: your job is to not fret
me: You take all the fun out of it. :-)
him: OK, implement appropriate solutions to global warming to revert CO2 levels to 1968.
him: solve the problem, report solution tomorrow
Libertarian answer: do nothing. The market will take care of it.
Neocon answer: Flatten the middle east, pave it, and turn it into a giant solar panel and wind farm.
Liberal answer: Increase gas taxes by two dollars a gallon over the next five years. Use that money to fund a Global Warming Manhattan Project, that focuses primarily on energy conservation and alternative energy sources, but also deals with deforestation, population growth, and other social issues.
On new vehicles, institute a $500 tax on new vehicles sold for every one MPG that the vehicle is below the federal average fuel economy. Use these funds to institute a tax credit on new vehicles purchased-- $X for every one MPG that the vehicle exceeds the average. Adjust X annually to make the program self-funding. Couple this with aggressive increases in the CAFE standards, inclusion of light trucks in these numbers, and removal of tax credits for business use of light trucks.
Apply appropriate economic and political pressures to India, China, and other countries to reduce their emissions accordingly. I'm sure we can find a combination of carrots and sticks that will make this work.