What is so outlandish about determined, long-term political support for zero-emission buildings, luminous microbulbs, ultra-efficient batteries or technologies for converting wind energy into hydrogen? Just like many of the currently contemplated future technologies in the renewable energy field, fracking was once considered a "freak" technology.
But while Congressional Republicans celebrate the know-how required to inject a cocktail of hundreds of chemicals and water into bedrock to break it and release useable gas and oil, most of them are dead set against government support for non-fossil technologies.
The fracking industry would never have come about without a regular stream of funding by the U.S. government. This is all the more baffling because in some pretty conservative areas such as Texas, there is strong support for renewable energy at the state level.
The initiatives undertaken by U.S. cities and some U.S. states are impressive. But they cannot compensate for the lack of a long-term policy at the federal level. That is why U.S. Congressional support for innovations in the renewable energy sector will be more critical than ever. Without determined long-term support from Congress, no predictable and consistent policy framework can be implemented.
Having ignored the challenges of global warming much too long, time is now extremely limited on all fronts. Without active U.S. participation in the global energy transformation, reaching the goals agreed upon in Paris will be almost impossible.