...habits of selfish people...
Yeah, couldn't possibly be people like single working mothers trying to raise a kid (or multiple kids) and make it back and forth to her job(s), school(s), doctors, pay for food, rent, utilities, rent, auto/health insurance premiums, etc etc, ad nauseam, and so must carefully budget every penny.
You're right, their lives mean far less than your lofty goals.
That's why we need the government to set limits...
Why, exactly? Look around you, battery tech as just one example is advancing at amazing speed. We have Tesla making "PowerWalls" that will soon be even smaller and with a higher energy density. Electric cars are also expanding into popular usage, which the accelerating tech will only further push ahead as they become more practical as the sole vehicle for more and more households as well as powering more households, and that too is accelerating rapidly.
Fossil fuel is *already* on the way out, thanks to advances in alternate energy source/generation and storage technology. There is *already* overwhelming motivation to continue advancing these technologies as any significant invention/discovery means metric crap-tons of wealth for those who succeed.
Having the government handing out grants/subsidies/etc at the amounts feasible can really only serve to keep the crony-capitalists in business while government bureaucrats create fresh reams of regulations. This applies equally to fossil fuels and alternates. This is not like playing 'Civilization'. Scientific/technological advancements don't have a linear relationship with the amount of money you throw at it, there are far more factors at play, including human factors. "Eureka!" moments can't be bought like it was simply stuffing enough coins into a vending machine. If that were true, Trump could simply buy himself brilliance. The government also has a terribad record regarding correctly picking winners and losers when it attempts to meddle in these sorts of things.
So, what you and many others advocate in real terms by asking the government take action by raising taxes, etc, and creating rafts of new laws/regulations (all of which won't appreciably affect how quickly tech advances) in order to try to force what is *already* rapidly occurring, is that the current rapid advancement is not quick enough in your estimations so all this self-inflicted suffering is justified?
Oh, and FYI: carbon taxes and cap-and-trade is a regressive tax in the extreme and will drastically raise energy prices (and food prices and everything else) and that affects the poorest the most. How many Grandma-cicles every winter and/or roasted Grandpas every summer is it worth? How many malnourished/starved kids/adults? Those are some of those 'externalities' so many talk about...except when it comes to the externalities and consequences of their 'solutions' to what they declare is a 'problem'.