Green technology

When can we stop having energy crises? – Mark Gongloff

(Mark Gongloff is an editor with Bloomberg Opinion. This column first appeared in Bloomberg on September 24, 2021)

  • The green technology we really need right now is a time machine to take the whole Earth into the future, like how Superman reverses time to (spoiler alert) save Lois Lane, except in reverse. Meaning forward. I will not be reading your emails about the physics, which definitely make sense and which I definitely do understand. Renewable energy sources can still help us avoid the worst climate disasters, and the faster we adopt them, the more efficient and cheaper they get, write Oxford’s Eric Beinhocker, J. Doyne Farmer and Cameron Hepburn. Instead of studying time travel like I did at Oxford (I have never been to Oxford), they discovered Moore’s Law and Wright’s Law apply to green tech the same way they apply to computer chips and such. Fun fact: They do not apply to fossil fuels, which are just as inefficient and expensive as they were 100 years ago. So fossil fuels are bad, paleo fuels. But they are also highly available fuels. That makes them important while we transition to the greener stuff. This is where the time machine would come in handy. We could, of course, just transition more quickly, as the Oxford trio suggests and as President Joe Biden’s spending plan would do. But that requires political will, and have you seen our politics lately?

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