Academia making me angry for the right reasons! Energy technology innovation #EpicFail #SpeciesBeDoomed

I often rant, sorry, “offer calm, considered and reasoned critiques” about academics who

  • study nonsense badly
  • study important things badly
  • study important things well but write in turgid academese

These things make me angry.

But for once, I am angry after reading an academic paper, not about any of the above (because it is paper which studies important things well and is written very clearly)

The paper in question is Winskel et al. (2014) Remaking the UK’s energy technology innovation system: From the margins to the mainstream. Energy Policy 68, pp.591-602.

“the UK’s dramatic decline in energy innovation spending in the 198s and 1990s was an extreme case of a wider international trend. The need for expanded levels of effort on energy innovation was recognised internationally during the course of the 2000s, and by the start of the 2010s, public spending had reached levels around those seen thirty years earlier” (Winksel et al. 2014: 597).

Because, you know, there had been no warning from scientists in, oh, the period 1985 to 1995 that climate change was a thing and that getting off fossil fuels was absolutely essential, as soon as possible.

The predatory delay by a fraction of the population, in positions of economic and political power, have condemned countless billions of humans and other species to untold suffering.

This makes me a little bit angry.

3 thoughts on “Academia making me angry for the right reasons! Energy technology innovation #EpicFail #SpeciesBeDoomed

Add yours

    1. My reply should have read, “Makes me a bit angry, too!” My computer plays up a bit, once in a while, and I wasn’t paying enough attention, this time.

  1. re: Hudson: ‘The predatory delay by a fraction of the population, in positions of economic and political power, have condemned countless billions of humans and other species to untold suffering.’

    re: Hudson ‘a fraction of the population’ On this point, this piece by Guenther is one of my favorites on the specific issue of the generalized ‘we’ vs. ‘who’ is responsible for preventing action on climate:

    Who Is the We in “We Are Causing Climate Change”?
    Everyone is not equally complicit here.
    By Genevieve Guenther
    Oct 10, 2018

    EXCERPT: ‘People writing on climate change really like to use the word we. “We could have prevented global warming in the ’80s.” “We are emitting more carbon dioxide than ever.” “We need to ramp up solutions to the climate crisis.”’

    EXCERPT: ‘Given that climate change is a global problem, the temptation to use we makes sense. But there’s a real problem with it: The guilty collective it invokes simply doesn’t exist. The we responsible for climate change is a fictional construct, one that’s distorting and dangerous. By hiding who’s really responsible for our current, terrifying predicament, we provides political cover for the people who are happy to let hundreds of millions of other people die for their own profit and pleasure.

    I mean, think about it. Who is this we? Does it include the 735 million who, according to the World Bank, live on less than $2 a day? Does it include the approximately 5.5 billion people who, according to Oxfam, live on between $2 and $10 a day? Does it include the millions of people, all over the world (400,000 alone in the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City) doing whatever they can to lower their own emissions and counter the fossil-fuel industry? ‘

    EXCERPT: ‘Complicit people and institutions must be called out and encouraged to change. And the fossil-fuel industry must be fought, and the governments that support the fossil-fuel economy must be replaced. But none of us will be effective in this if we think of climate change as something we are doing. To think of climate change as something that we are doing, instead of something we are being prevented from undoing, perpetuates the very ideology of the fossil-fuel economy we’re trying to transform.’

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