I noticed an article in the Economist today that caught me off guard. It wasn't so much the focus of the article as it was a number associated with it. The Carbon Cap and Trade system in Europe is selling $40 billion (with a 'B') worth of credits every year. That's a pretty significant number for a program we hear next to nothing about in the States (The economist is a British publication).
Cap and trade is far and away the absolute best system I've ever studied in it's ability to accurately, efficiently, and cheaply create markets in hard to regulate environmental issues (pollution, overfishing, logging, etc.). I won't try to explain why Cap and Trade systems are so amazing - wikipedia can do that - but if I hear another person call it a Cap and Tax system, I may very well punch them in their ignorant face.
Fun fact: the US has a very successful cap and trade program that's been in place since 1990 for regulating Sulfur Dioxide emissions, you know, the main component of acid rain. Well, rather than continuing to kill food crops and wildlife, by 2007 the program cut emissions by 50% and did so for 80% less cost than any other measure. The EPA even has a graph for those too lazy to read.
Another fun fact: Fisheries that have implemented a similar quota system (against initial dissent) produce more fish, at lower cost to the fishermen (because they're easier to catch, i.e. less work hours) and then in later years, the fishermen themselves advocate for lower quotas because of the positive impact it's had on their industry (read: their wallets). The proof involves parabolic curves and production rates that explain why less is more and it's pretty fascinating but I'm not about to give an economics lesson.
Yes, I know, this was another meandering rant, but seriously, Cap and Trade - put it to use.