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He Has A Point...

Randall Parker at FuturePundit reports that U.S. Automakers are asking for $100 million dollars per year to research battery technology.

Batteries are the weak link in the tech chain that keep us from adopting electrical vehicles.


$25 million a year [what our government currently spends on battery research] is chump change. Even $100 million per year [what the automakers want] isn't much. The article reports a claim by a spokesman for GM that Japan and other East Asian countries are spending a few hundred million dollars to subsidize the development of battery technologies in order to give their automakers a competitive advantage.

Given the current $3 billion per week burn rate for US forces in Iraq (which understates total costs since deaths and disabilities will cost us far into the future) the $100 million per year proposed above would pay for 6 hours of the US expenditures in Iraq. 6 hours. We could defund Muslim fundamentalists if we developed cleaner and cheaper replacements for oil and we'd raise our living standards in the process.

Fossil fuels usage brings big external costs in the form of pollution. We are better off accelerating the development of technologies that'll reduce and eventually eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

There's a historical precedent for this. As the Middle Ages came to an end, the Western World had given up on the Crusades. It poured its energies into the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, and The Enlightenment.

That worked out pretty good.


Robots and mobile devices would both benefit from improved power storage devices.

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