Rachel, thanks for the blog post. I agree with all you have said. As for carbon pricing, I think that a carbon-fee-and-dividend approach to carbon pricing is the best, as advocated by James Hansen, Citizens' Climate Lobby, and many others.
This approach puts a steadily rising price on carbon, and is levied upstream, at the well-head, mine or port-of-entry. The money that is collected is then returned to the public as a dividend on a per-capita basis. This approach gives people a financial incentive to reduce their carbon emissions. Per-capita carbon emissions tend to grow with income. A carbon-fee-and-dividend protects the poor, because in most cases, they will get more in dividends than they pay in carbon fees. The people with more income will tend to pay more in fees than they receive in dividends. Everyone will have the incentive to lower their carbon footprint, and will demand more efficient energy. It will spark innovation, and give clean technology a boost to become more available, of better quality, and for a lower price. It's a market-based solution, which does not enlarge government. It is far simpler to implement than cap-and-trade. As an illustration of its simplicity, a cap-and-trade bill can run over 1,000 pages, while carbon-fee-and-dividend can be written with less than ten pages!
Without carbon pricing, business can make money by creating carbon pollution, and that is a problem. We need to reward people financially for preserving a safe climate, and that is what carbon-fee-and-dividend will achieve.
Perhaps we should replace the approach of having each country commit to emission reductions, and instead, have countries agree to participate in carbon-fee-and-dividend across the globe, with each countries' fees distributed to that countries' citizens. Then we can leave a much better legacy to young people, future generations, and indeed, all of creation.