The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Next great revolution, and America is missing the band wagon

Every so often there is an innovation that comes along that is completely revolutionary. It changes the way people think, the way businesses act and how the world interacts.

Historical examples of such innovations include the advent of the printing press in 15th century, the railroad in the 19th century, the automobile in the early 20th century, the microchip in the 1950’s that eventually led to computers, and the Internet in the 1990’s.

All innovations have in common the fact that they led to significant growth stages in individual countries and the world economy. Many believe the next great game changing innovation could potentially be on the horizon and the United States is standing pat letting the world pass it by on this game changer.

The game ganger is Clean Tech, and the United States is falling short on taking action to help usher in the coming revolution

It is no surprise that just like a car engine, economies need fuel to operate, and without it, come to a grinding halt. It is no secret that one day non-renewable resources will run dry and other methods will be needed.

As non-renewable energy sources begin to be tapped dry, their price to use will sky rocket. If an economy doesn’t adapt its energy policy by the time the price of oil takes off, it could be lethal to the economy. Can you imagine the U.S. paying $5 or more for a gallon gasoline while China wakes up everyday to cleaner skies and energy produced that day by, sun, wind and water.

Getting in more technical terms, more than $8.7 billion in venture capital and private investment has been dumped into clean energy projects since 2006. This pales in comparison to the $10 billion put into internet projects in 1998. But the fund flows speak for themselves, private investors see it coming, world economic super powers see it coming, the clean tech revolution will be sooner rather than later. And the United States is missing the bandwagon.

At a recent U.N. summit, national leaders met to discuss the issue of climate change, and with it, energy policy. President Obama was present and implored the rest of the world to adopt clean energy policy, ironic as many already had and are ahead of the United States. Hu Jintao, leader of the People’s Republic of China, was also present and stole the show.

China’s economy is rapidly growing, and rates three times that of the United States, and it needs energy to fuel that growth. China was smart enough to realize that if traditional energy methods were used they would grow themselves to death from pollution. Instead, China pledges to obtain 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources in just 10 years, and increasing increments from there each decade.

The United States currently has no such goals or mandates in place.

Both Europe and China have both gotten the memo about renewable energy and their policy reflects it. Tax incentives and government protection to allow the infant industry blossom. In the United States, there currently aren’t sufficient incentives to grow the industry, and Congress, in bed with “Big Oil” has trouble even conceiving the notion of renewable energy.

I don’t see how Congress can sit by idly while the world lays the ground work to blow past the United States economically in the future. There is no argument that the revolution is coming, we need action to realize this. Otherwise, I hope you are learning Chinese as a second language.

JP Coleman is a fifth year finance and economics double major. He can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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