Year 3, Month 1, Day 3: TSTS

Florida Today’s Randall Parkinson has a good analysis of our industrial policy paralysis:

This year, China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest investor in green technology.

The country is rapidly emerging as the world’s leader in clean-energy innovation and manufacturing. It now produces more wind turbines and solar panels each year than any other country.

This was accomplished remarkably fast because China recognized its rising economic power can be sustained only by ensuring access to abundant energy, food and water resources. This requires development of noncarbon-based energy and a stable climate.

Many other countries, like Japan, South Korea and India, also are facilitating the commercial development of green technologies.

Unfortunately, efforts to create a similar technology boom in the United States have paled by comparison, thanks to a very small group of lobbyists.

These merchants of doubt have convinced some members of Congress climate change is not real and the country’s long-term energy policy should focus on more, not less, fossil fuel exploration and production. As a consequence, we have ceded growth in green technology, jobs and related income to overseas companies that now profitably export their goods and expertise to the U.S.

I consider myself a proud American. Watching this shit go on (and on and on and on) is an utter embarrassment. Sent December 30:

Those same political candidates fetishizing American exceptionalism enthusiastically advocate policies that would permanently cement our nation’s status as an also-ran. Nowhere is this disconnect between rhetoric and action more evident than in our laggardly response to the challenge of global climate change. Although scientific evidence demonstrates to all but the willfully deluded that the greenhouse effect is wreaking havoc on the planetary ecosystems that sustain our species, self-styled “deficit hawks” relentlessly advocate for failure.

We must fail to develop new energy sources, to mount a robust response to a genuine existential threat, to retool our infrastructure to cope with the extreme weather events triggered by atmospheric warning, to educate our citizens about the dangers ahead, to take responsibility for our century of massive greenhouse emissions.

Why must we fail? The “fiscally conservative” answer: we can’t afford it. Meet the new face of penny-wise, pound-foolish American exceptionalism: too stingy to succeed.

Warren Senders

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