Roger Pielke, Yale, calls carbon targets folly-ful “magical solutions” http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2175
I say we need some American “magical” Innovation.
Let the politicians spin. Let Asia take over as the supplier of the cheapest windmills (they are the inevitable source of cheaper anything). Spend money to train a bunch of guys on how to fix alternate energy machines for “green collar jobs.” Piddly, incremental changes for way too much money and little return.
Meanwhile, what Americans should do is what we are best at: INNOVATE. Create “magical solutions” in the true sense – go for creative destruction via totally out of left field solutions. Experiment. Entrepreneurs go for it! Panic is right around the corner and we cannot predict what the solutions will be. Throw out seed money. Fund basic research and playgrounds for really smart, creative people. Give a monster prize for something that generates energy at some ridiculously low price.
I don’t think the government can do it as a “Man to the Moon” effort because there will not be just one solution. And the answers aren’t going to come from straightforward engineering or straight-jacketed bureaucracies. Smart grid? Not if we need to build a massive infrastructure to get there. We need something more like the way the Internet grew – organically, chaotically.
We need good old American Wild West adventurers to solve this problem. Let’s figure out how to get out of the way and cheer ‘em on!