No matter whether global warming is real or not, we cannot sustain the current environmental damage that we as mankind are creating.
If we put forward a business proposal for a plan that involved vast investment and exploitation of a finite and non renewal-able source we would never get the project off the ground.
Yet here we are every day doing just that. Over fishing, oil exploration and mining in vulnerable eco-system's, waste disposal and the list goes on.
I think issues like carbon tax are misguided and will not solve anything in the long run. "Carbon tax is one of two major market-based options to lower emissions, the other being cap and trade schemes."** In that quote lies the fundamental flaw in the carbon tax concept "market-based options" This essentially means that the market (read corporate's) dictates the system.
This is just a way of punishing companies for polluting the environment, however it fails to take into account the millions of tons of waste / pollution / carbon emission's produced by the products themselves.
I believe we need to address first and foremost the items we produce.
Waste is created in every aspect of production and continues until the end of the life cycle of the product. There should be an inherent sustainability program built into every product. Bring back the day's of getting your deposit back for returning the empty milk or cool drink bottle. Why can we not introduce that for everything?
This can be effective from everything from car tyres to computer part's, refrigerators to HVAC systems.
In order for a manufacturer to get a licence to produce any product he would need to develop a way to recycle same product, every item he produces will have a replacement item returned to him for recycling.
This would be an incentive to design items that use minimal resources and are efficiently recycled.
Now we just have to figure out a way to get the corporate devil on board.
* Image from - www.climateactionreserve.org
** Quote from - How Stuff Works.