I've argued that even if global warming is something to worry about, it's dangerous to look to government to fix the climate. Government is a blunt instrument, riddled with self-serving politics and special-interest pandering. To expect it to do something as complicated as calibrate regulations and taxes to fine-tune the climate -- without making many people poorer and a few cronies richer -- is naive.No one back then were arguing that the world needed to get rid of horses. The market will work itself out. Sales of hybrid vehicles are increasing and the crossover SUV market is booming with more fuel-efficient vehicles replacing gas guzzling SUVs.
But that doesn't mean we can do nothing. We have a powerful generator of solutions if we let it work: the free market.
The market has solved environmental problems many times in the past. Before the automobile, America's cities suffered from a terrible pollutant. It bred disease and emitted noxious odors.
It was horse manure.
But here is a larger problem of government regulation related to global wamring--there are simply too many variables for the government regulators to keep up with. Just as the Cold War era price admministration in the Soviet Union proved incapable of setting prices on millions of items to prevent shortages and surpluses. There were simply too many variables to manage. The environmental variables are simply too numerous to manage. But just as the market is able to manage the allocation of scare resources to their best use, the market place will also be able to regulate behavior over time.