But the deeper lessons of the oil spill concern the future of our energy supplies, of regulation, and the shape of our society and economy....Out of crisis comes damage, but also opportunity. This is the opportunity to make a decisive turn in the road towards a post-oil economy: for the US, and for the world. But it needs politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to say it with gusto, rather than spend their time attacking BP. We cannot stop our reliance on oil and gas tomorrow. They are an essential bridge to our energy future. But the question is whether they are a bridge or a stopping point....The renewables industry struggles for finance – while investments in tar sands and other projects get the green light. It is the worst of short-termism: for the planet and for all our economic futures.What did I just tell you?
But there is no point in railing against the short-termism of markets: it is what they do unless the rules are right. The job of government is to change this short-termism. The obvious opportunity comes as we consider the future of our banking system.As the oil gushes into the Gulf, this is the time to stand proud and declare that we want a hi-tech clean-tech future faster than ever before. The countries that make the leap first will be the successful economies of this century, exporting technology around the world to cities seeking cleaner air and lower emissions.
Sunday, June 13, 2010