I believe that it is incredibly important. Support through subsidies and tax breaks may help the technology catch on quicker and encourage growth in the industry.
Interesting question Kevin. I think to the degree that Americans look to the government for leadership and direction, both tactical, strategical and to improve morale, then it is important for the government to encourage confidence in and support for renewable energy technologies. However, despite how history is often taught in highschool textbooks, I believe that the people that have shaped this country the most are those that have been on the ground building it, not necessarily the people sitting at desks in fancy offices. Technological and scientific adavancemnet necessarily comes from those that are doing the actual tinkering, those that are actually working with the materials and pushing the limits, trying to make a process more effective, more efficient. So, the best that the goverment can do in this regard is to encourage innovation, encourage critical and whole-systems thinking, encourage public dialouge about fundamental change and provide financial and logistical support when appropriate. But any “radical” change in the way a society sees itself and therefore operates, must come from just that–the root– and the root of a society is its people, not its government.
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