Your brilliant solution is carbon tax, which is exactly what liberals ALREADY tried to do and couldn't get through because of Republican opposition. It's fine to fault both sides, but lazy to do so when it makes no sense just because you want to elevate yourself as some kind of free-thinker. And as far as popular support, I'll note that it just failed as a ballot initiative in the liberal state of Washington -- and while that proposal was a stronger one than other efforts, good luck trying to do carbon tax nationally given the track record there. I think we still try, but the arrogance with which people treat environmentalists bothers me -- get off the sidelines and join the efforts if you want to push for something else.
An effort that focuses on green jobs, like the Green New Deal plan, is actually quite creative. I don't know if it's the best thing to push, but I'll support any effort that's gaining momentum that I think will be a good thing. You have to work as a coalition among people who are willing to put in the work.
Also, I just looked up this ballot measure and it looks pretty solid. The fact that it failed proves my point. It's easy to see how a tax would negatively affect their livelihoods, so people oppose it. The costs of building new wind turbines and tax rebates for electric cars are obscured, so they're popular even though they have questionable efficacy.
I supported this and I (naively) think of myself as fairly well informed but for even someone more capable of reading the details it was unclear (there was going to be a state wide panel that would figure out the details)...
The earlier carbon tax plan was a lot easier to understand and support. Although it makes people lose their shit, I think we should add an income tax in conjunction with carbon taxes. The state needs more money to pay for infrastructure needs, rich overpaid programmers like me can afford more money to build roads and mass transit faster. Add taxes on carbon fuels and then rebate the costs with tax cuts to poorer people and perhaps it could be neutral for your average person.
The more fundamental issue is how the climate issue is framed in the US. The narrative is that we can drastically cut emissions without affecting the average family's livelihoods, but the greedy Republicans just won't let that happen. In reality, everyone needs to make a sacrifice, and we can do a better job of acknowledging these sacrifices. As coal becomes becomes less popular, thousands of people will lose their jobs. It's disrespectful to suggest that this isn't a problem because we can just retrain them to build windmills. I don't have a good solution either, but much more effective legislation would be passed if Democrats and Republicans worked together rather than spend time fighting.
I'm sure you'll point that Republicans are less willing to compromise than Democrats, but that's an entirely different can of worms.
Without public support I just have trouble seeing that happen. I don't think we disagree that much though.
> It's disrespectful to suggest that this isn't a problem because we can just retrain them to build windmills.
I certainly would agree that the people who lose jobs would mostly not be the same people who would be trained to take the new jobs that would be created. I remember reading Janesville and being pretty clearly convinced that skills training programs to people who lose their jobs are often counter-productive. That said, I do still think overall for the economy it'd be a positive.
If you want to argue a measure is bad on the merits, then fine argue that.