Houston, We Have an Ecological-Governmental Problem


Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Will says:

    Curse you for stealing my late night thunder, Dierkes! Anyway, I’ve heard people suggest that prizes for green tech development might avoid incipient corporatism. Rather than allocate subsidies beforehand, the government is then only responsible for awarding companies who’ve come up with commercially-viable clean tech.Report

    • Avatar Chris Dierkes in reply to Will says:

      my bad. particularly since you were making some anti-colonial arguments (heh).

      I like a prize idea. I like about any idea at this point that has some possibility of actually working. The prize idea might also have a kind of multiplier effect insofar as it could create a sense of “hope”. i.e. That things can actually be done by real humans that could appreciably make things better.

      What we have so far (i think) is over the top political goals that are unachievable and then nothing basically gets done when those fail.Report

  2. Avatar Kyle says:

    On a semi-related note, Chris did you read FP’s article on India? I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the piece.Report

  3. Avatar Kyle says:

    For a germane comment, I’ve actually been persuaded (thanks Science Channel or was it History…) to think we should invest more in carbon conversion or carbon trapping technology alongside an emissions reduction approach, comparing how politically and economically difficult the latter is with the relative inexpense of the former.

    I wonder how much of our focus is philosophical that there’s more energy and focus on changing or punishing bad (carbon-intensive) behaviours at the cost of allocating resources towards mitigating the effects of bad behaviours without substantially addressing the behaviour itself.

    That said, isn’t China pushing to be a leader in solar energy? I don’t remember where I heard that but it came to mind. Granted they’re still reaping the benefits of being global second movers with no respect for intellectual property, but given their level of infrastructure investment and the rapidity of their economic development, it seems well within their capability to become innovators in the coming decades…you know unless they run out of water.Report

    • Avatar Mr. Prosser in reply to Kyle says:

      Will, I agree the prize method is a possibility but is it too small-scale? The example of Virgin Galactic comes to mind. Where is the initial investment capital? What if the focus is centered more on developing countries which need an energy infrastructure such as China and India which are coming too late to a carbon based energy system? Kyle is correct, China is working on it but the government there seems more intent on copying existing technology than creating a new system. What sort of prize could be offered, and who would offer it, to develop the system outside the first world?Report

      • Avatar Will in reply to Mr. Prosser says:

        That’s a good point, Mr. Prosser, but why not just up the prize money? If there’s a huge pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I think it would be possible to attract some decent start-up capital.Report

  4. Avatar North says:

    Frankly the ability to switch to a non-carbon centralized energy grid is well within our grasp at the moment. The problem is that it involves technology that most of the green movement thinks is icky. Frankly I think we’ll know the moment when eco movement finally starts taking global warming seriously because they’ll finally jettison their foot dragging on nuclear power. If India’s heavy investment in the field o thorium reactors pays off we can always play the China role and be second movers. (Well third, as usual Canada has been going on and on about Thorium for decades, hell America almost went thorium but chose uranium instead because we ~wanted~ waste aka bomb material).

    But anyhow I’d strongly reccomend the article, it’s wordy but has some awsome diagrams.