A story at the Boston Globe should reset expectations for those, including Richard Branson and Tom Friedman, about how much the a rise in oil prices will spur the creation of alternative fuels. Writes Drake Bennett, as the prices go up, that makes even dirtier and higher emissions extraction like oil from tar sands, shale and coal more cost effective. The answer to this conundrum is buried at the end of the story.
“‘If you have a carbon tax, or some other concerted carbon policy,’ says Mike Jackson, an energy analyst with Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, ‘then high oil prices drive industry toward clean technologies.’
Otherwise, he says, ‘you’re just going to see more people building these wacky projects that are a disaster for the environment.’”
BusinessWeek correspondents John Carey and Mark Scott, cover the green scene, keeping on top of the business aspects of energy, the environment and climate change, as well as the technologies, policies, markets and people that are shaping how the earth's resources will be used in the century ahead.