There is so little support in the US for strong climate change legislation -- particularly of the complex cap-and-trade kind -- that it is easy to despair. This week's Economist reports on a more voter-friendly bill from Maria Cantwell, the junior senator from Washington state, called "cap-and-dividend". Under this bill, the government would simply impose an annual total cap on carbon emissions and then auction permits that producers and importers of fossil fuels would have to buy. Anything that uses fossil energy would then cost more, but most of the money collected from auctioning the permits would be distributed evenly to Americans, perhaps about a $1000 for a family of four. This would more than make up for the higher costs of products and services, and automatically provide a strong incentive to move away from fossil energy sources. Something simple like this might be our only hope to actually limit and eventually ramp down carbon emissions.