A carbon tax seems to me to be the most urgent domestic economic reform facing us. And a carbon tax is the simplest, cleanest and most market-friendly device to wean Americans off oil, defund some of our enemies, and protect the planet from drastic climate change. And yet it seems such a tax is still political poison. That John Dingell is inching toward such a proposal is therefore very good news. It's also good to witness a politician able to change his mind in the open and with a decent amount of class:

After the town hall meeting was over and he had listened to a couple of hours of questions about timed traffic lights, nuclear power and the possibility of impeaching President Bush Mr. Dingell sat down in a dark area behind the stage. I asked him whether Mr. Gore, who has been both a Dingell nemesis and ally at various times, had been right for all those years he was pointing out what was happening to the earth’s climate.

"I think a cold statement on that point would be yes," Mr. Dingell replied.

And would it have been easier to solve the problem if we had started earlier?

"What's the saying? The saddest words in the English language 'might have been.'"

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