What I think is remarkable is the extent to which people on the right, in their zeal to avoid a market mechanism that the business establishment happens to hate, have a tendency to talk up what instead amounts to a kind of Five Year Plan approach. Instead of regulating carbon, let’s just direct scientists of invent miracle trees! Let’s turn the sky red! The greenhouse gas problem is one of the largest political crises the liberal/democratic/capitalist order has ever faced, but unlike something like Hitler the basic shape of the problem is something we’ve seen and dealt with before. The whole “sometimes there are negative externalities and you need to charge people for them” thing is in basic textbooks. Maybe the result of such a scheme will be a technological miracle, or maybe not but the shape of the policy environment that will let us find out isn’t mysterious.