1. Income taxes are progressive. Consumption taxes are not. We need some consumption taxes, but we should not shift away from income tax.
2. Environmentally-based consumption taxes, such as gas tax, should be used to move our society to a less oil-dependent state. The revenue should be used to subsidize public transit, to promote alternative energy sources, and to help people transition to less polluting lifestyles.
The parking lot at any mall is full of SUVs, vans and pickup trucks. Big buses chug along with a handful of passengers, if that. Ontario homeowners flagrantly waste energy, meaning that we're blanketed by pollution from the Nanticoke coal-burning generators - which our current provincial government wants desperately to shut down, but can't at current consumption levels.
Nothing is going to change without sustained higher prices for oil. When the price increase is caused by taxes, we have revenue to help people deal with the transition.
If the environment turns into a full-blown crisis, then we need to address it with a holistic vision of our society, not blinkered policies that see only the environment. We need to move into a new way of operating that preserves certain principles, such as modest income redistribution. This isn't like a war, when there are privations for a short period. This is about finding a permanent way to operate our society in a more environmental way.