Where Are All The Capitalists?
I've been giving more thought to the above lately and I find that I'm coming up with more questions than answers, so it's my hope that posting them here will help me figure some of this out.
My current dilemma is that the more I learn about the state of things environmentally, the more I realise that everyone (government, industry, etc.) seems to be dragging their asses when it comes to moving on new green technolgies. This is, of course quite normal (especially in Canada) but in this case, (at least in my mind) unwise at best.
Technolgy and infrastructure needs to be built over time and only in very special cases (think the .com boom) can it be done in quantum leaps. People generally like to wait until the last possible moment before they're willing to "take a chance" on new ideas, but given the state of world oil reserves and the political instability of the Middle East, waiting doesn't seem like the right course of action. As I mentioned before, we have to move quickly on this or be left behind.
I've been pretty surprised so far with the attitude of the business community in such matters. One would think that any idiot WASP could look up from his Wall Street Journal and realise that control of energy production is where the profit is going to be, but just installing a second wind turbine here in Toronto has become such a political and commercial mess that I have to believe the corporate will just isn't there. This leads me to wonder: where are all the capitalists? and more importantly, do I have to become one to get anything done?
Maybe it's the impatience you acquire from having worked in IT for as long as I have, but it seems to me that when you have something that you know works and is better for you, you start using that product as soon as possible, to the deprecation of older, less useful products. With that in mind, It makes sense that we should see cogeneration plants sprouting up everywhere. Wind turbines should be lining the cliffs of the rockies, the great lakes and the oceans, and solar generators should be appearing on rooftops and street corners everywhere... so why hasn't any of this happened?
My assumption is that people are afraid. Afraid of anything new, preferring instead to let someone else do it first -- the typical Canadian attitude. So if that's true, does this mean that in order to assure a strong Canadian presence in this soon to be crucial industry, do I have to go out there and become a corporate type? I'm pretty sure I know what needs to be done. Government types need to be bribed, smaller companies swallowed and land aquisitioned to do with as needed. More government reps will have to be coerced into rewriting the laws regulating energy distribution and if you want it done right, the market will have to be dominated by a single corporation soas to avoid competing "standards".
As it stands now, the industry is too fractured. Companies are "offering" their products rather than pushing them or aiming to control the market themselves. Energy is the kind of thing that has to be centrally managed, while produced in a decentral manner and I don't see that happening the way things are going.
So there's the big question. But while I don't mind wearing a suit to get the job done, I do mind the idea of a private corporation managing the rights to such a critical resource. I'd much rather see it in public hands as a Crown Corporation -- I'm just not sure how to go about making that happen. I'd just as soon start the company, run it as I mentioned above, then hand it over to the federal government to maintain, though that might be the hard way of going about it.
I don't want to go corporate. The whole idea gives me a bad taste in my mouth, but I know I can do it and a part of me knows I'd be good at it. The fact though, is that being on the passive end, waiting for approvals, going through committees, holding public meetings and running "awareness campaigns" is not going to get it done. You need real money and real corporate power on the scale of Exon or Microsoft behind a move like this -- I just wish I could think of a third path... A co-op maybe? Corporate Alliance? But someone's gotta do it, and since no one else seems to be interested, it looks like that someone will have to be me...
Anyone interested in joining me?