Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Politics, technology and the environment

Interesting post from the Dot Earth blog on geoengineering and research funding. The former is being advocated by the American Meteorological Society, the latter by 34 American Nobel Prize winners and the Federation of American Scientists. Geoengineering has its critics, and the AMS is not advocating it as the answer, but as a backstop strategy. (I came across a good post on carbon sequestration also, by way of contrast.)

As for funding - the climate and energy bill that recently passed through the US House of Representatives did not include research dollars. Unfortunately, while the development of technologies like photovoltaics requires continuing funding, "politics is about building short-term coalitions by satisfying demands presented by influential players, from coal companies to unions". We may not be able to do it without the scientists and engineers, but we can't do it without politicians either - although some may disagree there.

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