In Australia at least, it appears that we are about to get a carbon tax. The carbon tax is effectively a way of puting a price on carbon to influence personal and business behaviour in the Australian marketplace. The expectation is that the price on carbon will shift energy consumption away from fossil fuels toward clean energy alternatives such as solar and wind.
Unfortunately there is a significant amount of politics involved and we can be sure that the cost will not necessarily be borne by the fossil fuel industry. Already, there is talk of significant concessions to the fossil fuel industry and this will certainly skew the burden away from those who should be burdened and onto the man on the street.
Ultimately, carbon is not the culprit, carbon is merely a by product of human activity on the planet and it is that human activity that is directly responsible for global warming. There are probably a miriad of other factors that are also driving global warming including deforestation, the building of cities and roads and even war and conflict.
From a positive perspective, Australia could lead the way in demonstrating that a carbon price is a great way to modify behaviour and incentivise the adoption of efficient, clean energy consumption. From a negative perspective, it is possible that pricing carbon creates a fantastic new product for the global trading merket to profit from.
As we become more aware of the impacts of our behaviours and adopt new, efficient lifestyles we should be able to overcome the negative impact that we've had on the environment to date.