Sir Richard Branson, the British magnate and adventurer, said today that all of his profits from his five airlines and train company, projected to be $3 billion through the next 10 years, would be invested in developing energy sources that do not contribute to global warming.
Talk about tipping points!
For a sense of proportion, consider this:
Should the money flow as pledged, the research effort would far exceed similar efforts by governments. In February, President Bush announced a biofuels initiative for 2007 of $150 million, nearly a 60 percent increase over spending on such fuels in the previous budget. The overall United States budget for research in renewable energy sources like wind, solar, hydrogen and farmed fuels is a bit over $1 billion a year, but that amount is far less than what was spent during the oil shock of the 1970’s.
Interesting. One guy whose biofuels investing is 2x the US government’s. What does that tell you?
And for obviously _not_ a sense of urgency:
…while drug and semiconductor companies typically invest 10 percent or more of revenues into research, in the energy industry the typical research budget is about 0.3 percent of revenues, said Daniel Kammen, an energy expert at the University of California, Berkeley.