Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Musing Environment on research funding

Karen, at A Musing Environment has an excellent post on research funding, "Increase R&D, don’t cut it" Karen's point is simple and well taken, energy related research funding is way, way to low. Our society is facing a crisis at least as big as World War II. The world is reaching peak oil production, just as hundreds of millions of new consumers in China and India are reaching the point where they can afford cars. Oil demand is skyrocketing as production peaks. The result is an ever upward spike in prices for oil and gasoline.

In addition to peak oil, the global warming crisis caused by burning fossil fuels is beginning to take hold. In the next decade, demands for solutions to the CO2 emissions problem will grow ever more urgent, as the effects of AGW become ever more obvious. Karen argues that energy research could be easily paid for by taxing power production and gasoline. This is an excellent solution. In fact taxes could also be imposed to ofset costs of implementing new energy solutions, should that step be required.

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