The debate on climate change is a divisive one where one side says the science is settled and the other are skeptical of science itself. I see both positions as being rooted in fundamentalism.
The Al Gore et al. would have us believe the if we don't act the earth will become completely uninhabitable and devastated. Even though the earth has been this temperature before and life flourished. Sure there will be extinctions, but there currently are a lot of extinctions.
On the other side, we'll call them Dittoheads, act as if "only" a 1% change is so minor as to not affect a system at all. I'd like to see if they'd allow me to replace just 1% of their blood with a solution of potassium chloride which occurs naturally in the body (anything natural must be benign right??). I think they'd be quite unhappy with the result.
Instead of being closed-minded, I think that we should instead look at the problem pragmatically. There are risks on both sides: the environment could be negatively affected in the medium and long terms so as to be very difficult to reverse (especially habitat and species loss). On the other hand, the ROI of current methods is very low, and even imposing crippling anti-carbon incentives would yield very little in benefits.
For these reasons, I think the best approach is from an insurance point of view. In fact insurance companies already do. We know there is a possibility that global warming could significantly affect our lives on earth. We've seen that climate change has occurred in the past. Why wouldn't we at least want to buy some insurance? I'd propose a very slight carbon tax (<1% of gross) as a way of raising money for research into methods of reducing carbon: from alternate energy to sequestration. This approach would allow us to have minimal impact on the economy (there will be losses no doubt) while increasing the ROI our technology will have to solve the problem in the future.
For the skeptics, I don't think you're wrong to question the Greens. Their ideas have their problems and extremism. Carbon taxation would be massive governance problem with massive control issues. The system would need a way of decentralizing control while maintaining proper incentives to avoid power grab issues - a very difficult problem. However, you already believe that our foreign policy has an obligation to stop terrorism worldwide which has caused less than 4000 direct deaths of Americans (very low compared to heart disease which kills 459,000 Americans a year. Comparatively, climate change could be a far worse problem.
For those who claim that we're all screwed if we don't act now, I think you're right to be very concerned over climate change. However, if we really want to save humanity and the environment as a whole we need to act in the proper way. If you believe the practitioners of climate science, shouldn't you also believe the practitioners of economics? Neither group are able to predict what happens next week, but they're the best we have to look to. These experts recognize that climate change is a very difficult problem which doesn't have obvious answers. You should likewise be compelled to look at the research on the science and economics in search for these non-obvious.
Climate change is a very real possibility that we should take seriously. There is a chance science could be wrong, but we should at least buy some cheap insurance to make sure we're not screwed. Both sides need to explore the real risk and benefits of the issue. It's not a black and white issue, like the media would us believe. In times of crisis, we need to keep a cool head and think rationally about the issues - not become fundamentalists.