Evolution, for the 62 percent of us who believe in it, happened incrementally, over millions of years, and involved a few missteps here and there. Grover Norquist is a good example. It is often said progressive policy changes happen in the same way. Yesterday, the Bay Area Quality Management District came out as the nematode of the climate policy world, voting 15-1 in favor of a carbon tax for the nine counties in the Bay Area. The legislation imposes a $0.044 tax per ton of carbon dioxide and will target close to 2,500 Bay Area businesses, if the plan gains approval from the California Air Resources Board. Unsurprisingly, the Bay Area business community is up in arms over the proposed legislation, though not because of the program's cost. The carbon tax would raise close to $1.1 million in its first year, enough to cover the program's operating expenses, while drawing the majority of its revenue from seven refineries and power plants . The remaining businesses would pay about $1 per year. Groups like the Western States Petroleum Association and the AB32 Implementation Group, a climated-minded business group, worry that balkanizing greenhouse gas legislation within the state will lead to inconsistencies in implementation of statewide policies. Another problem is that added levels of regulation will increase transaction costs for companies operating in the Bay Area, which may lead to a kind of localized outsourcing pattern. This is the same kind of effect national business groups expect when California moves ahead with some of its own stringent climate policies. It's possible the carbon tax is aimed more at stirring the pot for state-wide action, as it seems localized impacts will be limited. Still, it's an effective way of getting companies to think about potential carbon-based impacts on their bottom line. Berkeley professor Dan Kammen said the carbon tax is "not enough of a cost to change behavior, but it tells us where things are headed. You have to think not just in financial terms, but in carbon terms." In other words, us Darwinians may have to borrow something from the freaky Creationists - effective climate policy can't evolve slowly, it just needs to happen.