Remember the nasty real estate meltdown? All those investors snapping up CDOs and CDSs and other acronyms nobody could really keep straight, but no one cared because we were all going to make a killing. And then the bottom dropped out of the market when somebody realized we had no idea what any of these exotic entities were actually worth but we started to worry that it might not be nearly as much as what we'd been told. So then the government had to come along and give the banks a ton of money and we're all OK now as long as you don't look at the national debt or foreclosure rate or a host of other still-dismal numbers.

Well, it's good to see we've learned our lesson. We'll never get carried away like that again! Except that we might. If you thought the real estate mess was bad, fasten your seat belts and tuck all personal belongings inside the car because the carbon market is set to take off.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.