[*2] There is one industry that fits the bill: alternative energy, the development of more energy-efficient products, along with viable alternatives to oil, including wind, solar, and geothermal power, along with the use of nuclear energy to produce sustainable oil substitutes, such as liquefied hydrogen from water. Indeed, the next bubble is already being branded. Wired magazine, returning to its roots in boosterism, put ethanol on the cover of its October 2007 issue, advising its readers to forget oil; NBC had a “Green Week” in November 2007, with themed shows beating away at an ecological message and Al Gore making a guest appearance on the sitcom 30 Rock. Improbably, Gore threatens to become the poster boy for the new new new economy: he has joined the legendary venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which assisted at the births of Amazon.com and Google, to oversee the “climate change solutions group,” thus providing a massive dose of Nobel Prize–winning credibility that will be most useful when its first alternative-energy investments are taken public before a credulous mob. Other ventures—Lazard Capital Markets, Generation Investment Management, Nth Power, EnerTech Capital, and Battery Ventures—are funding an array of startups working on improvements to solar cells, to biofuels production, to batteries, to “energy management” software, and so on.Le conseguenze questa volta potrebbero essere devastanti [*3], considerato che la produzione di etanolo comporta l'abbandono dalle colture a scopo alimentare, visto che i sussidi (distorcendo il mercato) rendono più conveniente puntare sulle colture a scopo energetico e che queste coltivazioni prevedano l'utilizzo di notevoli quantità d'acqua.
15 luglio 2008
Nonostante gli americani stiano ancora facendo i conti con le conseguenze [*1] dell'esplosione della bolla immobiliare, i sussidi governativi stanno già gonfiando una nuova, quella dell'etanolo: