The current debate, such as it is in Australia in relation to climate change, is all about the sort of tax regime that is required, and the need to change peoples behavior, and thus their attitudes.

What all this misses is the fundamental nature of the change that is needed, and the only way to get that is to recognise that commercial opportunity and activity will eventually deliver the answers (although it is likely we will not like all of them) by providing the incentives and long term funding of technical development, then commercialising it.

The role of governments here should be to assist in creating the field in which the technology, typically with 20 year horizons, can evolve. Playing with today’s tax regime is just putting a band-aid on a gaping wound, useless as anything beyond a gesture.

This argument is put very convincingly by the clip “Reinventing Fire”, that has come from the Rocky Mountain Institute, a very smart think tank and technology developer in  the US. It deserves some air-time.