Green, but Smart
Bjorn Lomborg is every climate change skeptic’s favorite scientist, and both sides do well to heed his advice. His point, basically, is that climate change is real, but that sufficient response is not currently within the realm of plausibility. So, he suggests, we should do what humankind does best: advance.
Can we achieve this technological miracle over the next 20 to 40 years? In a word, yes. The price of solar energy has been dropping steadily for 30 years — by about 50 percent every decade — and we could likely accelerate that decline further with sufficiently large investments in research and development.
How large? If we were willing to devote just 0.2 percent of global GDP (roughly $100 billion a year) to green-energy R&D, I believe that we could bring about game-changing breakthroughs not just for solar power, but also for a wide variety of other alternative-energy technologies.
This belief in the potential of technological progress strikes some climate activists as naïve or even delusional. But is it really? Consider one of the miracles of the modern age — the personal computer. These devices didn’t become household items because governments subsidized purchases or forced up the price of typewriters and slide rules.
The market conservative would go on to stress that the private sector does advancement much better than do central government planners…