No incentive to innovate?

Industry glibly says: “The low carbon price means there is no incentive to innovate.”

Hell no, there really isn’t an incentive to innovate.  How about solving a really big problem called “how does man live comfortably without smashing up the planet”?  It would be moronic to say that is not an incentive to innovate.

“Straightening out the screaming conflict between what I do at work and what I say to my kids” isn’t an incentive to innovate?

“Coming up with fantastic technologies which will dominate the market for the next few decades”?  Sounds like an incentive to me.

What they might mean is: “There is no short-term economic incentive to innovate.”  Or: “We are not confident that there will be a lasting short-term economic incentive to innovate.”  But short-term economics is only a small part of the story.

They might mean is that cheap fossil fuels are a counter-incentive to innovate.  But the presence of counter-incentives does not mean there are no incentives. Industry should be careful not to use the low carbon price as an excuse for not taking responsibility for climate change.

They almost speak as people raised in socialism, waiting for the hand-out from the government before acting, before taking initiative.  It makes me think that with its huge factories and rigid hierarchies, big industrial business is a form of socialism which crushes the entrepreneur in its people, bleaching its spirit, and turning them into moral paupers living on excuses.

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