What do people call alternative medicine that works? Medicine.
Alternative energy does not work because if it did we would not call it alternative energy any more. We've been subsidizing wind and solar for decades, at some point we have to make it sink or swim on its own.
I've been told many times by people here on Slashdot on how wind and solar are as cheap as anything else. If that is true then why does it need a subsidy any more? People would be building out wind and solar power because its profitable to do so.
We don't burn coal and natural gas because we are evil bastards that put money before our children. We burn fossil fuels because they make a profit, a profit we need to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate our children.
What subsidies do is take money from those that know how to make money and give it to people that don't. If people knew how to make money with wind and solar they wouldn't be lobbying government for subsidies, they'd be too busy making money so that they can feed the children to lobby for subsidies.
The problem I see is not subsidies but taxes. Prohibition of alcohol set back bio fuel research at least fifty years. Right now if you want to do research in alcohol as a fuel you have all kinds of legal hoops to jump through to prove that people aren't drinking it. Prohibition of alcohol is gone but we still have prohibitive taxes and regulation.
Regulation is killing all kinds of beneficial research. Anything nuclear gets killed before they can even get started. We can't even build solar panels in the USA because of EPA regulations.
Just mentioning this will likely get me modded into oblivion but I'll say it anyway. The NOAA has been caught altering historical temperature data. There is no global warming. The hottest period on record has been in the 1930s, all annual temperatures have been lower. The US federal government does not care about global warming either because they know its not happening or because they are too busy "spreading the wealth" to buy votes. My proof? The physical plant that heats the federal buildings in DC is powered by coal. If they we concerned about global warming then they'd be removing the plank from their own eye first.
The problem is subsidies, not the solution. Companies are rewarded for following the rules laid out by the government, not for actually solving the problem. A free market solves problems.