Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Innovation Council

I looked for a way to highlight that title and infuse it with irony, but Blogger doesn't provide that click.

Ronald Brownstein, in the serious National Journal, seriously reports to us on the serious deliberations of the Innovation Council, which seriously recommends that the government do something about innovation in energy.
[A] group of technology-focused business leaders -- including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr, and the current or former chief executives of General Electric, DuPont, Lockheed Martin, and Xerox -- issued a mayday manifesto urging a massive public-private effort to accelerate research into clean-energy innovations.
That means that they want the government to give them money to do the research they should have been doing all along, if the free market actually worked. These same serious industrialists and their brothers have screamed bloody murder over the past several decades if the government laboratories were found to be doing anything that might look like clean-energy innovations, and they haven't bothered to fund such things, although the basis for their screams would have been that the government laboratories were competing unfairly with their doing nothing.

Brownstein makes one good point, though.
But the substantial support that Murkowski's proposal attracted highlights the political obstacles looming in front of any policy that aims to seriously advance alternatives to the carbon-intensive fossil fuels that now dominate the United States' energy mix.
Polls show that the public wants more action to address anthropogenic global warming. Polls show that the Tea Partiers and the now-insane Republican Party garner little support. But our national legislature pays little attention.

After a full day away from the internets, I'm seeing contradictions like this all over. More to come.

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