Do you remember the rotary engine? It was going to revolutionize the auto industry. It should have, if the potential had developed as expected. Maybe it will someday, although time has a habit of making new ideas like the rotary engine obsolete before its time. Technology does not always go the way that you want it to develop.
History is full of examples of this kind. John Ericsson designed the U.S.S. Monitor. This revolutionary vessel had the worlds’ first rotating turret, something ALL warship design had from that time until the present. He invented a way to absorb the recoil of the guns because the turret did not have the space necessary to use conventional methods. The guns themselves were much more powerful because he had placed white-hot rings around the base. When they cooled, they were able to absorb a much greater shock from the larger powder charge that was loaded into the weapon. Yet John Ericsson also invented a new version of the steam engine. The small models he produced were wonders, but he could never get it to work on a large-scale engine. The invention of the internal combustion engine made his idea obsolete.
The point being that technology development can’t be pre-planned or pre-determined. Nobody could have known the impact of the rotating turret, or the problems in the rotary engine. Nobody can predict how effective solar power or wind power will become. It is foolish to attempt to make an artificial market for products of this type. The market will evolve and grow on its own if the product is useful and economical. Just look at the history of development of new inventions that have taken place in the United States from the early 19th century onward. President Obama either does not understand this concept, or else believes that he can allocate our national resources better than we can.
I keep hearing how the Obama administration is emphasizing so-called ‘green’ energy, like solar and wind power. At the same time, President Obama is attempting to limit the growth of the major, known source of energy in the form of oil. After the Gulf spill, new exploration and development was brought to a halt. The new pipeline that was to go from Canada to the Gulf is on hold. It appears that President Obama believes that he is correct about where to ‘invest’ our national energy resources as opposed to the experts who have been inventing and developing these resources for more than 100 years. At the same time, he is virtually ignoring the ONLY new power source invented in the past 100 years. (Nuclear)
Not that anyone knows which power source will eventually take over the position that oil holds today. The point is that it is better to let those who will benefit the most from new positions to be the ones who will decide where to ‘invest’ the resources of research and development. The history of the United States is VERY clear that PRIVATE ownership of the means of development and production is the most practical and accurate method of invention and production of new energy sources along with just about everything else. The exception is for those whom it is to advantage to have it otherwise. As we are seeing today.