Month 9, Day 10: Writing Without Understanding

The NYT ran an article about China’s trade policies and the response of the US Steelworkers’ Union to some of their subsidies. While I tend to glaze over when I read about international economics, this article made a good hook for a letter. If we hadn’t been asleep at the switch, America would be offering to share technology with the Chinese. Instead…

I welcome our coming national move to third-world status.

Questionable trade practices or no, China’s readiness to pick up the slack in renewable energy is an object lesson to American entrepreneurs and politicians. By procrastinating on the restructuring of economic incentives to encourage the development of new sustainable sources of power, we have sacrificed our nation’s role as a technological leader and a worldwide source of innovation. If we are lucky, the next decades will include cooperative programs with China and other countries that have taken the lead in the development of green technology. With an increasing likelihood of catastrophic effects from global climate change in the near future, it is absolutely critical for our long-term species survival that we learn to share technologies and techniques across national boundaries. International cooperation on renewable energy initiatives is the only way we can accomplish the most essential element of a long-term strategy for coping with climate change: global reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

Warren Senders