Mark Thoma's post offers me the opportunity to mention the publication of my 2012 Economic Inquiry paper on this topic. I wrote my 2010 climate change adaptation book titled Climatopolis, because it was clear to me that there is a voting bloc in Congress (namely Conservatives from poor, high carbon areas) who will oppose any carbon legislation. I've been quite pessimistic that a global deal on carbon can or will happen in the short term. I predict that individual initiatives such as California's AB32 will teach useful lessons and that the host of low carbon technologies will become more price competitive over time due to globalized free trade.
Take a look at this slide below and explain how in a world where population and world per-capita emissions are rising how we will start a chain reaction so that all of the world's key players join the carbon coalition. Who will provide the "carrot" to nudge the BRIC nations to play ball? Who will pay for this nudge? The units are tons per-capita per year in the following graph.