Thursday, 8 March 2007

Virgin Innovators




Sir Richard Branson, renowned entreprenuer with considerable interests in the travel and tourism industry has pledged $25m to the scientist who can create a solution to help the growing carbon crisis.

Do we really need an innovative solution? And if we get one, will it take years for businesses and people to adopt it?

There are 2 things that are high up on people’s priorities: money and convenience. We have fallen into a convenient trap and money talks. We like to be able to drive our cars to work, fly to Southampton and put the dishwasher on when it’s half full. And I’m sure if you introduced a carbon tax in the monthly pay packet or gave people cash incentives to “be green”, the reduction in emissions would be immediately noticeable.

You could invest the $25mn in smart meters for homes to show people the impact of their actions or in running an efficient public transport service with seats for everyone (now that is being ambitious!)

These are simple solutions to a problem we have created ourselves. That is not to say that there are not people with the capability of developing an all encompassing solution, however in the coming months and years why can we not be encouraged more to reduce the impact ourselves.

5 comments:

Trudi said...

What about using the carrot approach and making it economically viable for home owners to benefit from putting excess power into the national grid from their PV installations or wind turbines - Germany are far ahead of us in this field. There is actually financial incentive for investing in this kind of technology so it begins to jump the chasm rather than the gadget guys in the UK who are currently investing into this kind of stuff!...

Minty Cheese said...

Although Branson is no doubt doing this for naked marketing purposes, I actually believe that he does have the interests of the planet at heart. Sometimes moving people's mindset is just as important as investment in new approaches - you move people's view of the world and the money will surely follow later......

Peter said...

Maybe it depends on whether you are a Nuke or a Sandal:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/article671021.ece

James said...

Money always speaks volumes I find

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Branson is making this pledge for the right reasons but I cannot help thinking that we should start with the little things and act now rather than wait on one solution that saves us all.