If we could shift toward a new tense, would we? Are we is more likely the question.
Shifting attitudes likes parts of speech would be helpful. Every so often, as I’ve noted before, the time lines fade in and out and suddenly la futura gets a bit closer before we even notice. The EPA is (quietly?) developing guidelines for how to measure one’s individual carbon footprint. This is the precursor to developing a system by which this type of consumption gets taxed, which is all mostly good and most probably inevitable. The rub will be in ameliorating the extent to which this tax is regressive toward the poor, i.e., how much extra you get taxed just for being in a lower percentile of the earning bracket. But it can be done. And the main thing to remember is that it is going to be done. So stop your whining and adjust as you can. This is far better than the drawn-out twelve step agony whereby we allow all of our worst tendencies to play themselves, court disaster further, then decide to try to do the right thing in the end anyway. Let’s just go ahead.