Don’t pay attention to those oil company ads that claim they’re devoting time and resources towards working on clean energy solutions — just look at the graph below. The chart, which Climate Crocks reminds us of today, shows just how little the energy sector spends on research and development compared to other innovation-based industries. 0.3%. That’s practically nothing.
And that’s why 50% of our power still comes from coal and why there have been so few radical innovations in clean energy in over 30 years. It’s also why it’s so tough for many to admit that the free market isn’t going to solve this problem alone — that unharnessed, the free market would have us burning coal until we exhausted the supplies, caring less about such things as the global average temperature of the world.