Bill Gates is getting a lot of press, maintaining that innovation is the key to climbing out of the climate change hole. I’d like to see him get more into the nitty gritty of his statement that
To achieve the kinds of innovations that will be required I think a distributed system of R&D with economic rewards for innovators and strong government encouragement is the key. There just isn’t enough work going on today to get us to where we need to go.
All well and good, but there’s a problem here. Or, I should say in the case of Bill Gates, who has the resources to help address it, there’s an opportunity here.
The problem/opportunity is that the innovation of which he speaks needs to follow a kind of triage system, akin to how things happen in business. Once something looks good, promote it, but in a sensible way and with a critical eye. Develop proper vetting/testing procedures to determine when something needs to be modified, or dropped. Do homework and don’t replicate efforts done elsewhere.
There are a lot of smart characters out there vying for research funds, and most of them are very adept at making their approaches sound like the best thing since peanut butter. These people are our bread and butter, and they must be fed. On the other hand, we must fund research addressing climate change issues with a careful, critical eye on viability in a different manner than usually is the case today. The future depends on it.