In case you missed it, noted economist Alan Blinder made the case for a crusher credit in the NYT last week. The idea is to pay fair market value to buy up old, polluting cars. (If you read Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker piece from a while back, you’ll remember that a fairly small core of very old cars produces most of the air pollution.) This would serve to stimulate the economy, redistribute wealth downward, and reduce air pollution, with a total social benefit that dramatically exceeds the cost.
This is one of those silver bb’s enviros need to learn how to market better. All small-bore solutions sound faintly silly in isolation, but in aggregate they are faster, smarter, and more effective than big macho strategies like offshore drilling or oil shale.