During Jon Stewart’s interview with Al Gore, Stewart half-jokingly proposes one solution to the problem of oil interests slowing the move towards cleaner energies:
Stewart: Partner up with Exxon and say, “You own the oil and gas now; you can own the new thing.”
I have to admit, granting the oil companies monopolies on the replacement technologies would be a pragmatic solution to the problem. It would be messy, full of complicated conditions, and would horrify those that feel the oil companies should pay for the damage oil is doing, but the alternative we’re facing is a very slow mush toward the new paradigm while the planet suffers.
Moments later Stewart acknowledges that clean technologies will also eventually be controlled by a few large corporations, and of course he’s right. We’re just going to slowly trade one set of executives and lobbyists for another and with the unlikely hope that the new ones will hold the planet’s best interests above the bottom line.