We’re recognizing the scale of the global warming crisis just as there’s a parallel crisis of imagination about how to address environmental problems. Because of years of conservatives’ claims that government doesn’t work, and that the only option is to privatize and deregulate, we’re left believing that we can’t take decisive action in the public interest. We think we can do no more than charge a fee while allowing the smokestacks to keep belching. Call it tax-and-burn environmentalism: Rather than eliminating dangerous practices, tax-and-burn introduces taxes and leaves practices unreformed. Ironically, tax-and-burn often makes things easier for polluters.