For a long time, self-satisfied Americans have told themselves the US will always remain the world’s #1 innovator in anything high-tech.
Sure, China can reverse-engineer anything, and then produce it more cheaply, and India can do all the back-office and even some legal work for pennies on the dollar.
But when it comes to anything REALLY forward-looking, from both a technical and business point of view, the US will always remain at the front of the pack.
Don’t be so sure.
This crucial — but, as so often, buried — article from the New York Times shows in a number of cases how America has fallen behind in almost every sector of “green business”:
A recent report by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that while the clean technology sector was booming in Europe, Asia and Latin America, its competitive position was “at risk” in the United States because of “uncertainties surrounding key policies and incentives”…
Many European countries — along with China, Japan and South Korea — have pushed commercial development of carbon-reducing technologies with a robust policy mix of direct government investment, tax breaks, loans, regulation and laws that cap or tax emissions.
Incentives have fostered rapid entrepreneurial growth in new industries like solar and wind power, as well as in traditional fields like home building and food processing, with a focus on energy efficiency.
“This is a $5 trillion business and if we fail to be serious players in the new energy economy, the costs will be staggering to this country … We’ve let energy policy succumb to partisan politics.”
The aggressive entry of Britain into the field over the last few years shows the power of government inducements to redesign a nation’s energy economy away from traditional fuel.The piece goes on to detail how the UK has come up with a TRULY “omni-partisan” initiative called “The Green Deal” that shows the power of government inducements to redesign a nation’s energy economy away from traditional fuel.
But in the US, “we’ve let energy policy succumb to partisan politics,” and the economic results have been disastrous so far and threatening to get worse.
While one high Energy Department official said,
the United States remained a hotbed of good ideas, “in actual downstream deployment we are at risk of falling behind — we are falling behind already.”If you want to see how the UK — usually considered far behind the US in ANY area of technological innovation — has shot ahead both technically and entrepreneurially, be sure to check out the rest of this very disturbing article — whose implications are NOT likely to go away any time soon.
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