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Unformatted text preview: Star Trek” too
Giv en this unc ertainty , the wis e thing for politic ians would be Science and technology to s et ov erall em is s ions targets , and leav e the ris k to
bus ines s people. Wherev er this has been tried, in Europe, Am eric a, J apan and m ore
rec ently China, c arm ak ers hav e grum bled: but they hav e res ponded—m os t notably by
s queez ing m ore effic ienc y out of the c entury old internalc om bus tion engine.
Sadly politic ians s ee elec tric c ars not as a m eans to a greener future but as an end in
them s elv es . Barac k Obam a is s till prattling about hav ing 1m of them on Am eric a’s roads by
2015 (s o far he is only 5% of the way there); this week Angela M erk el res tated her aim to
hav e 1m s uc h c ars on Germ any ’s roads by 2020 (a m ere 3,000 were s old there las t y ear).
Under fire from Congres s , M r Obam a has s topped lending to m ak ers of elec tric c ars and
batteries , but he s till wants to inc reas e the m ax im um federal c redit for elec tric c ars from
$7,500 to $10,000. And the Chines e gov ernm ent is planning to rev iv e an old s ubs idy
s c hem e worth up to 60,000 y uan ($9,800) per c ar.
Suc h s ubs idies m ak e little s ens e. If gov ernm ents want to c ut em is s ions it would be better,
s ay , to pay people to ins ulate their hom es . Better Plac e ac hiev ed little in its brief, ex pens iv e
life. But if its failure, des pite hav ing s uc h weighty bac k ers (inc luding GE and HSBC),
pers uades gov ernm ents of the folly of pic k ing winners , it will not hav e died in v ain.
From the print edition: Leaders Rec ommend 35 Submit
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This note was uploaded on 09/22/2013 for the course EECS 440 taught by Professor Amonour during the Fall '13 term at University of Michigan.
- Fall '13
- Machine Learning