11 December 2009
As the century turned the talk about the new economy was all aflutter. The concept is that the world is changing from a carbon fueled economy to a new more sustainable model that would rival the previous revolutions in agriculture and industry.
Oh how right we are. I have personally seen the changes happening to move humanity towards this sustainable future. So, you may ask, how can I see it?
Well, America here is the unfortunate truth.
As an American we are only seeing the very edge of this revolution. There is some really amazing cutting edge research going on in the US. i was contracted by the US Department of Energy to review stimulus grants relating to high performance thermal envelope design and super performance windows. I can state unequivocally that there is some truly mind blowing research going on. While the US has always been good at supporting basic research, we fall short on the support of products beyond that stage. So while the folks doing the cutting edge research here have names like Chu and Patel, we (the US government) does not support the technology after initial development, preferring to let the "Angel Investors" do the next round of support. Unfortunately for our country, many great ideas go undeveloped in this country because of this.
Fortunately for those who are not American, there are forward thinking governments that support the so called "valley of death" for development of technology. And it is these governments that are creating the 'New Economy'. By embracing the concept of creating a sustainable society and supporting the innovation it takes to make that society a reality, places like Germany, Denmark, China, Korea, Brazil and Spain are rapidly growing a 'New Economic' model.
With the current lack of political will and the surging of the regressive right, the United States will look back in 20 years and say, "hey where is my 'new economy'. When we finally awaken from our sleep, we will be faced with a hollowed out society that has a declining middle class and an incredibly advanced military. So what will be our role? Why to protect those that can afford our services! (See the new copper mining operations in Afghanistan. China is doing the mining and the US is doing the protection.) So get ready America, your new role as the protector of the new economic powerhouses assures a bright future.