Month 9, Day 14: Shut ’em Down!

China appears to be getting its shit together. Does this mean that if we are to solve the climate problem, we must abandon the ideals of participatory democracy? It’s beyond me to figure that one out.

After years of being one of the planet’s most environmentally irresponsible nations, China now seems anxious to make up for lost time, reinforcing investment strategies focusing on renewable energy technology with stricter accountability standards for greenhouse gas emissions. Would that America could do likewise. While there are many bugs remaining in the Chinese bureaucratic systems, the fact is that imposing strict limits on emissions is the right thing to do, at all levels from local to global. Economic health requires environmental health; the idea that these two are necessarily in opposition is a profoundly damaging notion. China’s policy-makers seem to be figuring this out, and in the process offering an example to the rest of the world. The United States, alas, is held captive by the denialists in the Republican party, who seem determined that we will be left behind in the worldwide move to reality-based climate and energy policies.

Warren Senders

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