Bruce Sterling on the recent Austin TX Clean Energy Venture Summit in Viridian Notes #492.
[It] was an intensely dull event. There was scarcely a “visionary” to be seen. On the contrary: suited, duely-diligent lawyers and bankers were throwing millions of dollars at engineers. That’s the work of the world, folks. This is our third swing at this particular baseball: 1970s: eco-consciousness raising; 1990s, global political accords; 2010s, cybergreen ecotech. They gotta win, they must not fail, because otherwise, by the 2030s it’s gonna be Khaki Green all the way: a future of All Katrina, all the time, for everybody.
I conveyed these bracing sentiments to the attendees. I then went to my Austin home to find a tree in my yard freshly blasted by a massive lightning storm. As a Viridian guru, I’m pretty much getting what I begged for here. But, just like verybody else under our planet’s overheated skies, I’m gonna pay a price.
That billions are now being spent on clean and renewable energy and reversing global warming is, as Sterling points out, an amazing thing indeed. Greenies led the charge, now it’ll be up to investment banks and corporations, both large and small, to make the changes. While a more socialist and equitable system would be nice, it ain’t going to happen in the short time frame we have, that’s just the reality. Our federal government is dead in the water on the issue, making a few noises, but basically doing nothing – when not overtly blocking change, that is.
So, it’ll be venture capital, investment banks, and private enterprise in the US who can, and are, moving full speed ahead to make a cleaner, greener world.
Sterling concludes with
It took a while but they’re moving as fast as they can throw the cash… And besides, it’s something of a privilege to have lived long enough to see this!