Progress and keeping up | AspenTimes.com

Progress and keeping up

When Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb, the most common lamp was fueled by whale oil. The light bulb took off like a skyrocket and soon the whale oil lamps were nothing but a novelty.

That dry-docked many whaling ships and put a lot of whalers out of work. Did the government continue to support the whaling industry so the whalers wouldn’t have to switch vocations? No, everyone understood that’s the way progress works.

Today, renewables are replacing fossil fuels as an energy source because they’re cheaper, safer and don’t damage the climate. That’s gonna put a lot of fossil fuel industry workers out of work.

So should the government subsidize coal, oil and natural gas and impede renewables with actions like tariffs on solar panels so the workers don’t have to switch vocations? No, that’s not the way progress works.

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“For he that gets hurt

Will be he who has stalled”

— Bob Dylan

Fred Malo Jr.

Carbondale


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