Even the most cursory glance at history tells us that overwhelming challenges spark innovation and revolutionary restructuring.
Which is why the Rudd Government's latest tinkering with its strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is so disappointing, argue Dr Regina Betz and Dr Iain MacGill, Joint Directors of the UNSW Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets.
No matter how you juggle the numbers and fiddle with the details, the latest changes to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme are a disappointing vote for the status quo. Which means the key mechanism the government has selected to trigger the transition to a low carbon economy looks still very much like an expensive beast with no teeth, they write in an opinion piece published in the Australian Financial Review.
Yet the lesson on the industrial revolution, the most profound restructuring in this history of human development is this: When Britain began to run out of wood, people were naturally fearful. Yet, they found coal, the fuel of the industrial revolution. The idea that we can't similarly innovate today, to gradually give up coal and its fossil fuel friends, greatly underestimates humanity's ingenuity and our ability to adapt to the profound challenge of climate change.
The Rudd Government did send out the right signal by lifting Australia's target to a respectable 25 percent reduction in emissions by 2020 - despite the substantial wiggle room still left. However, the massive investment in the CPRS was intended to provide the financial incentives essential to push industries towards greener operating models, yet this is not ensured.
Read the full opinion piece at the Australian School of Business website.
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