One of the biggest difficulties in dealing with climate change is the challenge of making people give up things they have been benefiting from inappropriately for a long time. For instance, if a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system raises the price of fuels or energy, people will rebel because these things were cheaper before. It isn’t very psychologically potent to say that the lower previous prices were the result of ignoring the consequences of one’s actions. While a theoretical concern for future generations and people living in other countries is easy to maintain, a concern than manifests itself in changed behaviour is quite different.
In the end, our whole society is unsustainable. It is based on an energy model that cannot be perpetuated, and it is doing terrifying damage to the physical and biological systems of the Earth. Between the advent of industrialization and the present day, we have been living a kind of Ponzi scheme. Hopefully, people will grow to understand the enormous opportunity that exists now to initiate the transition to a sustainable human society: one that can sustain itself for millions of years.
Doing that requires foresight, an understanding of science, and a willingness to reject things that have existing for a long time, on the basis of rational objections. Ultimately, I am not entirely confident that humanity can manage that transition. Even so, now is undeniably the moment to try.