Q: You've never liked a "cap-and-trade" approach.
A: The only way you can solve the problem is with a simple, honest price on carbon. There's no reason to bring banks into this.
Q: Where's the clear climate message?
A: Obama could've done it if he had started out when he had 70 percent approval and if he followed a policy like Franklin Roosevelt and had fireside chats. It's not that difficult. It can be explained.
Q: How long can emissions increase before we risk serious impacts?
A: We really should be aiming to keep CO2 no higher than about 350 parts per million and possibly somewhat less than that if we want to maintain stable ice sheets and stable shore lines and avoid many other issues. That would require starting today. We'd have to reduce CO2 emissions at six percent a year if we began next year. If we began five years ago, it would've been three percent. If we wait until 2020, it becomes 15 percent.
So if we're hoping to maintain a planet that looks like the one that humanity has known, we're out of time right now.
Douglas Fischer is editor of DailyClimate.org, a nonprofit news service covering climate change. Contact him at dfischer [at] dailyclimate.org
This article originally appeared at The Daily Climate, the climate change news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.