a population ignorant of economics and suspicious of the Administration's motives probably cannot be brought to understand the social benefits of high gasoline prices and heavy gasoline taxes.
Perhaps, but when you live in a country where you pay more tax on a single tank of fuel  than it'd cost to offset your carbon emmissions in a year , the population has every right to be suspicious of the Administration. Tim Worstall:
As this paper (.pdf) argues, the correct Pigouvian tax on petrol in the UK is roughly 50% of the one already charged.
Sorry Greg, but a Pigou Tax set higher than the harm caused by the externality validates ignorance and suspicion, and in the UK it's a tax grab, plain and simple.
 According to Terra Pass my Toyota Corrolla emits approax 6,515lbs of CO2 a year, which they'd charge $39.95 a year to offset; = £20.98 (1 USD = 0.525138 GBP, true at 2006.11.07 12:56:15)