On Government Regulation: First, Do No Harm
The very first thing the government, at all levels, can do for the environment is stop paying to foul it up....
If you really take climate change seriously, it means that a lot of things are going to change. That means liberals are going to need to resist calls to subsidize outmoded living arrangements.... If people don’t want to live in the plains, let the Buffalo have it back - even, heaven forfend, the Sioux. If Florida is too expensive for some people to bear the true cost of living there, so much the better for the ecology of Florida. And if people need to move closer to places work is plentiful, that’s a beneficial ecological and social change for a society trying to moderate fossil fuel consumption.
While we're at it, if the existing corporate system depends for its survival on government subsidized Interstates and airports, and a foreign policy that guarantees "safe, abundant, and affordable energy to American economy," then so much the worse for the existing corporate system. And if giant agribusiness plantations out West turn into deserts without subsidized irration water, and can't afford to ship their produce across the country without highway subsidies, I guess people will be growing a lot more broccoli and lettuce on the eastern seaboard.