There are libertarian “approaches” to climate change which other answers by Quorans here have outlined Three King Regulators mount up Christmas shirt. In my opinion, these ”approaches” mostly amount to wishful thinking that the market will derive solutions automatically, and oh, by the way, several argue, it would help greatly if the government only “got out of the way” and just let the market do its thing. Believe me, I would like nothing more than for climate change to resolve itself automatically and cheaply with no government action or investment. The problem here is that pinning your entire hopes of fighting climate change on the spontaneous private discovery of such miraculous “moonshot” technologies is risky and, I would argue, fatalistic. There is also a total lack of evidence that the world’s governments are meaningfully “standing in the way” of finding solutions on climate change (if anything, governments are the principal backers of green technology).
Finding real solutions to this enormous problem will, in my opinion, likely require a redoubled, multilateral commitment to scientific funding on the level of at least the Manhattan Project or the Moon landing. Few libertarians cite that successful mid-20th century, American-led scientific programs as examples of unconscionable government overreach. And yet many, if not most, libertarians are currently unwilling, in the 21st-century, to consider funding similar government-led scientific endeavors in pursuit of answers to climate change, let alone at the scale necessary to achieve tangible results within the shortening window of time that we still have left to act. Most experts agree that imposing a carbon tax is one of the simplest, easiest, and least-intrusive means of spurring meaningful changes in the industry and consumer habits regarding greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, most libertarians are congenitally hostile to taxes, even well-designed ones like this one. If we’re being realistic here, imposing a carbon tax is not a gun-barrel maneuver, but a “nudge.”