The European Commission plans to impose mandatory limits for CO2 emissions from cars by 2012. Predictably, right-tilting media as well as car makers oppose it, saying voluntary limits, carbon trading, and technology can solve the problem. While those approaches may help, and while some corporations genuinely are moving towards being carbon-neutral, others aren’t. Mandatory, enforceable limits seem the best approach, and it would hardly be the first time a government has banned or mandated something. Here in the States, lead-based paint and asbestos in walls was banned long ago, as well they needed to be.
In the coming years, the push towards reversing global warming will highlight one of the primary conflicts – remediating global warming is in near direct conflict with the profit motive. As long as the short-term profit motive is allowed to trump the long-term interests of all, we’ll never solve global warming.
New ideas and new economic structures are needed.