"I wish someone would explain to me what exactly is "progressive" about carbon taxes and energy austerity?"
They are progressive because they actually consider what will become of future generations. There is little stomach for such thought in modern conservative circles. This is unlike real conservatives who, when the movement still had an intellectual base, realized that what Buckley said was true:
"A conservative is one who stands athwart history and shouts stop."
So why could a carbon tax or environmental regulation be conservative? Easy. Nixon saw it and he was FAR more classically conservative than any of the current crop of republicans save a couple.
Now Big Steve this will be hard and I fully expect your usual childish insults from it. To for the others.
Here is an example. Conservatives oppose inheritance taxes. Why? Because taxes are regressive and besides they aim to preserve or "conserve" their wealth for future generations of their kin. There is not a soul who has ever benefited from low inheritance taxes on his own money. So we see conservatives do care about future generations.
Continuing to exponentially produce carbon emissions is progressive by definition. The damage to the environment is progressing nicely, thank you. Preserving our planet (conservation if you wish) is inherently conservative. It is "seeing damage to the future and shouting stop!"
Business can take one of two tacks. (To oversimplify) They can either go for massive profits now and not plan for the future or they can create a company that means to make reasonable profits in the long haul. Usually these require two distinctly different management and investment styles. Let me give you an example.
A "liberal" real estate investor, wishing to maximize near term profits, can flip homes. Fix them up to the minimum required for a quick buck and sell them for a nominal profit. Lather, rinse, repeat. A "conservative" real estate investor will fix them up with the idea of keeping them to generate rent in the short term and increased profits in the future. These investors are interested in long-term solutions such as quality repairs up front. These conservative investors would also be interested in laws that protect their investment such as strict zoning and environmental laws that protect the neighborhood.
Look at beachfront property in much of the country. (Florida is already seeing it.) It would be fine for an investor to flip a beachfront home in some parts of Florida but unwise to plan to keep it. Why? Because it will be flooded in not that many years. We are seeing it already.
So clearly a very conservative company would be far more likely to take the long view of its business model. This company would be concerned about profits not only now but in the future. A damaged environment would clearly be seen as a threat. (Even the pentagon is planning for global climate change.)
This company would be supporting plans that allow them to make money now while preserving their ability to make money in the future. Carbon taxes, which are taxes in which they have choice about when and what to pay. They are a very conservative solution.
What would be the "liberal" solution? That would be to simply legislate clean air, looser take the hindmost. Far more than carbon taxes, these kinds of draconian regulations could damage many American businesses a great deal. So carbon taxes ARE the conservative solution. They are about as free-market as you can get without throwing the whole future to the vagaries of fate. Just who do you think was driving the push for carbon taxes? Certainly not progressives.
You also asked about energy austerity. There really is no such thing but if, for the sake of argument grant that there is, consider this:
Using energy is a market. Not only for the energy itself but for the products that use it. I recently replaced my HVAC. (Air conditioner.) The decision affected two "markets". I could have chosen a cheaper solution near term and as my state mandates a minimum of 13 SEER purchased that. This option would have had me paying more by buying retail energy, much of it generated by coal. Or, as I did, I could choose to buy a far more efficient unit, paying more now with future savings and burning less coal.
Mandated energy consumption creates new markets for efficient energy use. Granted it is not good for the coal miners but it is sometimes good for the companies that buy coal. It is an opportunity for them to scale production to cheaper methods of production or even seek higher rates to compensate for any additional capital investment required.
So you see BigSteve, the issue is not what it appears. What is the problem is the sound-bite simplicity attributed to these issues not in the service of the truth but rather in the service of a political goal.
I mean really. Look at the poor coal miners that Trump and other republicans are nattering on about. We are supposed to vote republican because the big-bad "liberals" are going to put all of them out of work. And how many is that? It is about 50,000 coal miners nationwide. That is about half as many miners as there are florists in the country. It is nothing. If they were all out of work tomorrow it would hardly affect the unemployment rate at all. There are 10 times that many Scientologists in the country.
But the republican party, not conservative and certainly not interested in the truth, knows that this is a winning issue with people who are simply not smart enough or too lazy to seek the truth.
Now I don't expect anything nearing what I just posted in response. Why? Too hard. It will be much easier to simply get angry or result to sarcasm.
"Laziness is a trait in blacks." Trump.
"I am the least racist person there is. And I think most people that know me would tell you that. " Trump
The American dream is about freedom. Pelosi