New energy technologies are starting to attack each other
I suppose this was inevitable:
In what one industry representative calls a struggle for supremacy, advocates of various sources of alternative energy are beginning to point out the competition’s warts.
“Everyone wants to use the energy crisis as leverage to support his solution,” said Bob Rose, executive director of the Fuel Cell Council.
But with limited government research-and-development money available for ways to replace oil, any gain for one technology is a loss for the others. So the criticism is flying in all directions.
I seriously hope we can keep this from devolving into a full-on circular firing squad of rent-seeking. There are two important points on which all these techno-boosters should be able to agree:
- Put a price on carbon! Selective gov’t subsidies and tax breaks are no substitute.
- Vastly enlarge the pool of resources available for R&D on carbon-reducing technologies, perhaps by drawing down present subsidies to fossil fuels and other atmosphere-destroying practices. There’s no reason these technologies, some combination of which are going to save our collective ass, should be fighting over scraps in a zero-sum game.