Common Sense, and a path to the America we once had.
This is the situation we face with climate change. We can take preventive action now while the job is still small and the costs low, or we can wait until the job is huge and the costs are astronomical. Which makes the better economic sense?
We have already dithered away most of the time in which we could have been acting. No matter how you cut it, we're in for a hard landing.
We might try rebuilding the electric grid. That would cost money and set the denialists in an uproar. But the existing grid is both obsolete and starting to break down. We're going to have to replace it, anyway. Why not build a new one before the old one breaks down and we have to get along without electricity for weeks at a time? Rebuilding has the advantage of reduced friction and leakage, giving a 30% reduction in cost once the new one is in place. So "costs" are deceptive. Increased efficiency will defray a large part of the cost and allow wind systems to be integrated into the grid more effectively, further decreasing costs (Wind is already cheaper than coal or oil and is roughly comparable to natural gas in price.). Temporarily use gas to generate base load and wind as the main energy source. Convert to nuclear-generated base load as existing plants become senescent or obsolete.
Electric vehicles are just around the corner. In another five years, improved batteries will give them a range of 300 to 500 miles and allow them to be recharged from a plug in your garage. Hook that to the grid and you have wind-powered cars! Mass-production will get the costs down in a few years and then we will see a move away from gasoline-powered vehicles. The market will do that without government help. I think Obama jumped the gun with his cash-for-clunkers program: he didn't have a good replacement vehicle available, but in a few years they will be on the market and a cash-for-clunkers program would actually work.
TVA coal plants are actually being encouraged by poorly-thought-out regulations. Change those regulations to make conversion more attractive. There are good regulations and there are bad regulations. This is a bad one.
There are lots of things we can do to head off climate change without increasing our out-of-pocket costs. The myth of it being expensive is coming from obsolete industries trying to hang onto their profit margin for a few more years. Once they convert, they'll be strong supporters of remedial action.
Who do you think will be the enrgy providers in a post-climate change world? I think they'll have names like Shell, Exxon and Detroit Edison.