Government must back engineers to tackle climate change, says Dyson

by Published Fri 26 Jun 2009 12:08
Entrepreneur James Dyson says scientists can rise to the challenge of climate change with Government

British entrepreneur Sir James Dyson yesterday criticised the Government for getting its priorities wrong, arguing that it offers little support to those working on vital new technologies.

Dyson, most famous for inventing the bagless vacuum cleaner, accused ministers of being more interested in bailing out banks than backing entrepreneurs and engineers, who could potentially help the environment and the economy.

Speaking at the launch of his latest innovation, a handheld vacuum cleaner powered by the world’s fastest motor, Dyson said: “Instead of giving money to the bankers, give it to engineers, give it to science in universities, encourage children in schools to take up science and engineering and not become bankers and lawyers. It's a matter of refocusing ourselves on people and institutions that can solve our environmental problems and our wealth and trading problems in the process.”

He said the UK government should look to France to see the value of supporting major engineering projects with benefits for the environment: “Look at the French rail network and its nuclear power programme. They work, they're impressive and as a consequence the French revere engineers, unlike Brits. Instead of just throwing money at bankers, Government should be looking at our long-term future.”

Dyson argued that many engineers and entrepreneurs would relish the challenge of creating solutions to the massive environmental issues facing everyone, if the financial backing and the ethos were in place.

“In the past, being a scientist or engineer was about making things faster or bigger or making something in a more dramatic fashion,” he said. “Now is the time to solve the very difficult problems but I know we can do it. The technology is there and scientists are there with the means to do it, and the Government should realise this.

“This really is a time to back our engineers, fund them and set them the challenges.”

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Comments about Government must back engineers to tackle climate change, says Dyson

Very true! Banking is only a lubricant for the economy; banks don't actually do things. Engineers do.
k, around 4 years, 6 months ago

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