If Only It Could Happen

The theme of a Ted talk yesterday by a climate expert (I didn’t listen to it) was that humanity has ten years left to radically change course on emissions of greenhouse gases before global warming becomes irreversible and our planet consigned to uninhabitability (presumably within a few centuries rather than within a billion or so years.)

If humans were sufficiently rational, world leaders would quickly convene and agree to radical changes in energy policy. Parliaments and legislatures would swiftly enact laws and mechanisms for implementing agreed-upon policies. Tax and subsidy policy would be designed to speed and facilitate needed changes. To give an example: Coal miners would be given stipends while being trained to make and install solar panels. Higher gasoline taxes would match subsidies for electric cars. It would be thrilling to be involved in this historically unique effort to save humanity from self-extinction. It would lift spirits around the globe.