Monday, April 7, 2008
The recent flurry of commentary prompted by Pielke, Wigley and Green in Nature (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v452/n7187/full/452531a.html) suggests there is some sort of choice between market action to limit carbon output (like caps) and intense R&D for new technology. That is surely a pseudo-choice if ever there was one – unless you think that attempting to forge agreements on limits would some how undermine the impetus for funding R&D. But given the difficulty of forging such agreements, that seems farfetched. The fact is that even if intense R&D began today and produced results, the ramp up to “scale” would likely take decades. In the meantime, business as usual will only make things much much worse.