September 27, 2011
From my perspective, one of the most important but underappreciated features of the wedges concept is the fact that they start small and grow gradually. They are really wedges and not boxes. It is tempting to think of the small starts as representing small commitments, but the opposite is actually true. Beginning to build a wedge at the small end requires a solid foundation of research and development, experience with scaling and technology diffusion, progress on cultural and psychological constraints, and a policy foundation that provides the confidence to support all of the other requirements. While building a wedge gradually from the small end is difficult, we know one thing for sure — building one much more rapidly is a lot more difficult. Yes, it costs something to start building wedges now. The question we all need to ask ourselves is whether we want to face the risk of making the task even more difficult by delaying.
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution