By David Roberts, Vox.com
From an economic perspective, the core challenge of climate change is that the standard way of doing things — the dirty, carbon-intensive way — is typically cheaper than newer, lower-carbon alternatives.
Solving the problem means driving down the cost of those alternatives. Simple, right?
But in practice, it’s not so simple. In fact, we still don’t have a very good grasp on exactly what drives technological innovation and improvement. Is it basic scientific research? Early-stage R&D? Learning by doing? Economies of scale?
The details are worth examining, but the big lesson is pretty simple: It didn’t just happen. It was driven, at every stage, by smart public policy.