When the total direct and indirect costs of consuming and releasing Carbon are recognized to exceed the cost of alternatives, economic demand for alternatives will automatically increase both in production (solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, etc.) and consumption (electric vehicles, Hydrogen fuel cells, etc.). As with tobacco products and other detriments to society and the planet, Government’s role and responsibility is to tax or regulate what is not in the best interest of the population and subsidize what is.
Nations around the world, including the United States, need to fight the influence of the Carbon Energy Industrial Complex that attempts to block or destroy any technology that competes with their product through misinformation and political pressure. There will always be some people who deny facts or research that are counter to their religious beliefs or just resist being changed.
The only solution is continuous education and the knowledge that eventually everyone acts in their own economic self-interest. We need a tax on Carbon energy as soon as possible and continued subsidies on alternatives. If we can increase the popularity of distributed alternative energy technologies without degrading national electric grids around the world, we should move in that direction as well.
— Malcolm Baird, 26 January 2016
The Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming has occupied a large number of people for many years. The background is amply presented by Wikipedia.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as Wiki explains it, “sets binding obligations on industrialised countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving the ‘stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.’ “
The Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and entered into force on 16 February 2005. As of September 2011, 191 states had signed and ratified the protocol. The United States signed but did not ratify the Protocol and Canada withdrew from it in 2011. Many environmentalists had hoped it would lead most nations to solid action to reverse global warming. Certainly the Protocol detailed a lot of research to understand the scientific and engineering aspects of the causes, effects, and useful actions to reverse the process. But it has not led to the right kind of action at the scale that is needed.