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Mr Rawnsley and economics

The United States is out of the blocks. The European Union is hurrying along the track. China is competing too. Here in dear old blighty, we are not even at the starting line. While others are dashing towards the horizon, the UK still hasn’t tied its laces.

The government appears to have barely noticed that there is a global race to dominate the green technologies of the future. In investment attracted, jobs created, income earned and lives bettered, the prizes for the winners will be huge. In prosperity foregone, the penalty for the laggards will be severe.

Prosperity comes from being able to use such technologies and products. The creation of them is the cost of being able to use them.

Typical of the British Left to insist we must dominate the cost part of the equations and ignore the benefit part.

Think on it. Some Yank invests fusion power – just as an example. As a result we get nice cheap electricity forever. This is a problem, is it?

17 thoughts on “Mr Rawnsley and economics”

  1. There’s also the issue of whether its the right road to go down. As no-one knows the future its entirely possible that the world will descend into a cooling phase within the next 100 years, thus invalidating the AGW theory, and all the resources spent on renewable energy would have been wasted. In which case missing the boat would have been the right thing to have done. Especially if the boat is the Titanic……

  2. The government appears to have barely noticed that there is a global race to dominate the green technologies of the future. In investment attracted, jobs created, income earned and lives bettered, the prizes for the winners will be huge. In prosperity foregone, the penalty for the laggards will be severe.

    If we don’t have an industrial strategy, Japan and the USSR will overtake us!

    Joe Biden’s administration has embarked on a $2tn

    A get rich quick scheme that only costs $2,000,000,000,000.

    Anxious that the Biden plan will lure vital industries and cutting-edge tech away from Europe to the US, the EU plans to relax its rules on state aid to allow a wave of tax credits for green investment and speed up the approval of clean energy projects.

    Good money, meet bad. No amount of greeniebollocks will be enough to retain energy intensive industries in Europe and the UK, we will have Net Zero industry by the end of this decade.

  3. All the major global actors are putting substantial sums into securing supplies of semiconductors, the brains in everything from electric vehicles to wind turbines

    Their Groundnut Schemes are more advanced than our Groundnut Scheme!

    In the wake of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine,

    Unlike those kind, sensitive invasions that still respect you in the morning.

    and the rocketing gas and oil prices that followed, Boris Johnson launched what was supposed to be an energy security strategy. That was 10 months ago and was accompanied by the claim that the nuclear component would be accelerated by the immediate establishment of a “flagship body” called Great British Nuclear. This promise has gone the way of so many of that bloviator’s empty boasts.

    Typical of that irresponsible fat bastard Boris to get coup’ed before he could cut the ribbon on a new atomic reactor.

    New homes are still being built with no regard to net zero standards. Old ones are leaking heat for lack of an effective insulation programme.

    How can we expect to dominate the high tech industries of The Future when we still haven’t done everything Insulate Britain demands?

    There is a large reservoir of public support for energetic action to green the economy and end our dangerous dependency on planet-destroying fossil fuels.

    Independent fact checkers have found no evidence to support this claim.

    For all the rhetoric about being in the vanguard of the “green industrial revolution”, the UK only has one battery factory compared with an estimated 100 in China. The hope of establishing a second crumbled when Britishvolt, a venture near Blyth, Northumberland, collapsed into insolvency last month.

    1. Load Britain up with massive environmental and regulatory burdens, on top of some of the most expensive energy and labour costs in the world
    2. Wave bye bye to factories as they move to China
    3. Complain that the stuff we did to ourselves in (1) led to the outcome in (2)

    Many Tories can think of net zero only as a painful burden to be moaned about and never as a fabulous opportunity to be eagerly seized.

    We’re all gonna get rich by being John Gummer.

  4. I do like the sport analogy. It’s the Sunday morning marathon. In several hours they’ll be hot, sweaty, tired & 26 miles away. Meanwhile the smart money’s been on a decent breakfast & is just finishing the papers & considering he pub..

  5. bloke in spain,

    The only advantages with being first with tech are either that you establish centres of excellence in things (e.g. like the F1 industry is in west Northants, the shoe industry in East Northants, the perfume industry in Provence) or that you get patents. And I don’t think there’s any good history anywhere of government deliberately helping that, because ministers don’t know what a good candidate looks like.

    All government can really do is to get out of the way.

  6. @BoM4
    The only advantage to being first with the tech is making money at it. In which case you’ll be first with the profit making tech. It’s that’s way round. Not the other. That’s why the things you mention were/are a success.

  7. Steve in sterling form today

    There is a large reservoir of public support for energetic action to green the economy and end our dangerous dependency on planet-destroying fossil fuels.

    Independent fact checkers have found no evidence to support this claim.

    You gotta love rigged polls. Oddly when you point out that ‘energetic action’ same reservoir (at least outside a handful of University towns and North London) will mean no meat and rolling power cuts and not being able to go on holiday the ‘reservoir’ runs dry.

    Many Tories can think of net zero only as a painful burden to be moaned about and never as a fabulous opportunity to be eagerly seized.

    We’re all gonna get rich by being John Gummer.

    And even more annoyingly we won’t even get the opportunity to be fed a burger by the guy to prove ‘beef is safe’ – unless of course it’s an insect burger..

  8. Rawnsley’s always seemed a bit dim to me. Unlike The Potato, who is stupid, ignorant, and sliding into madness.

  9. Out of interest, can anyone think of examples where major government participation in “major future technology” has been a commercial success? The only one springs to my mind is atomic power stations via university research departments & the Manhattan Project. The jet engine was largely a private endeavour. It’s taken Musk to make space launches a commercial proposition. Commercial satellites road on the back of US defence spending on rocketry, not as an aim. The windpower industry without subsidy isn’t a profitable commercial success. Railways were private & so were ICE transport etc The ‘Empire’ was the product of private trade. Maybe GPS? Cryptography? IT’s been mostly private.

  10. What exactly are these ‘green technologies’? And what will they be worth when the whole green scam collapses due to an apparent absence of global warming and climate change and collapse of whole economies (nearly there)?

  11. Britain invented and developed the technology for Computed Axial Tomography in the 1970s and later Nuclear Magnetic Resonance which had to be rebadged to Magnetic Resonance Imaging because of the wet-knickers brigade.

    Which British companies manufacture these machines? None? Oh.

    There used to be a meme: Invented in Britain; developed in the US; made in Japan (now China).

  12. VP – thank you.

    Talk of eating insects reminds me of how strongly I disapprove of the Antichrist.

    BiS – Out of interest, can anyone think of examples where major government participation in “major future technology” has been a commercial success?

    ARPANET.

    But that was a project run by techies who knew what they were doing, not a malicious foreign kakistocracy nominally led by a senile kiddy-sniffer.

    Americans will end up with nothing to show for Slow Joe’s latest $2,000,000,000,000 cash scam, though I assume lobbyists and senators will make out like bandits, and their various politically favoured diverse grievance groups will get their beaks wet, too.

    And that’s what really matters.

  13. Steve @ 10.16 – “We’re all gonna get rich by being John Gummer”. Well it certainly worked for him didn’t it?

    John B @ 2.04 – I well remember an edition of Tomorrows World dedicated to the stuff we had invented, decided it wasn’t a good idea and flogged off to the Krauts who engineered it or the Nips who micro-sized and mass produced it (there were more but it was a long time ago…..). Eric Laithwaite was a particular highlight……

    Personally, i’m still waiting for the ‘White Heat of Technology’ and ‘The Peace Dividend’…….

  14. @Steve

    I agree with your Arpanet suggestion.
    Funnily enough, it was developed by the US military, so that they had a redundant, fault-tolerant system to send the ‘launch’ codes to Titan missiles, after the Russkies had had first serve.

    Another example would be GPS. This was made available as a civilian service only by resistance of the US Congress to it’s cost: it is purposed to provide the precision accuracy to take out all the Russkies silos (and leaders) when the US have first serve.
    Again, funnily enough, when the US Army went on holiday in Iraq, they didn’t have anything like enough militray GPS sets, so they bought everything they could at Radio Shack. Much the same way R.V.Jones equipped his lot with short wave radios in the ‘battle of the beams 1940’. Rhymes.

  15. ARPANET never made any money, and if the government hadn’t invested in it someone would have, eventually.

    Like most of the tech stack around the internet happened because of a few blokes just doing it. It’s shed/garage culture. Even if you look at stuff that came out of government like HTTP, there wasn’t a politician dictating it. Tim Berners-Lee and another bloke just did it. Budgets of low 6 figures.

    The problem with government is that it mostly only gets serious when war happens. The rest of the time, government is just dicking around, going around in circles. No-one watching the pennies. A project fails? No-one gets canned.

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