Read an article today in the Harvard Business Review, “How the green revolution needs less thinkers and more grunts.” I haven’t written anything about alternative energy in a long time, so this interested me … maybe even a creative spark.
The article talks about how we idolize the creative thinkers, Einstein and the such, but don’t really give the actual “grunts,” the people doing the lifting their due credit.
But let’s look at the most prolific inventor in history, Thomas Edison. He not only was brilliant, of course, but he created a factory of innovation. A factory of trial and error based on correction of failures … and many of them. Andy Warhol did the same thing, and he created the art mass reproduction industry – amongst other things. In fact Lady Gaga equates her creative company, Haus of Gaga, to that of Warhol’s Factory forty plus years ago.
Now what does this have to do with the “green revolution” or alternative energy (i.e. wind, solar)? The technology is there … it’s economically feasible and with the disaster in the gulf – it’s sure timely.
What’s the problem?
There’s no grunts. Nobody is out there putting photovoltaic cells everywhere instead of running wires everywhere. For some reason, a lot of people seem to think that wind generators are ugly … get over it – how about the aftermath of strip mining. Lovely isn’t it!
The biggest growth industry in this country in alternative energy (God, we need solar and wind). And there is nothing happening … for the most part. We need “grunts.” Grunts that pressure our so-called government leaders (Barak you included), put pressure on the utilities (paying somebody only once a year for sending electricity back into the grid is outright criminal) and pressure these NIMBY freaks back into there basements where they belong (then they can’t see the wind generators).
If I may vent some more … it’s my blog so let me get on with my “bad self.” The has been an enormous amount of money and attention put towards the housing industry. “We need bailouts,” whether it’s legislation or lending reform. What you need is smart building and smart buying. I don’t see much of either of the two. Why isn’t an on-demand water heater mandatory?
This recession, as I’m sure has, created polarizing factions. “We’re coming out of it (government data – but nobody talks about underemployment), or we’re not (I guess they have never heard of Apple or Google or still thinks the steel industry is dominant in Ohio).”
The American industry has changed …
As it always has in the brief history of our country.
We’ve always been the country of invention, the country to embrace change. We’re doing it with the on-line stuff (I could be more articulate but why when we are know what I’m talking about).
But we have also been the country of implementation – the country of “grunts.”
Now it’s time to all of us “work together in the trenches” and … create the new bridge to our next internet revolution (remember where the internet started).
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