Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Are America’s Fears of a Greentech Race with China Unfounded?

I'm a member of the Green Jobs group in LinkedIn, and the following article is a discussion topic for the group. (And almost as interesting as the article are some of the comments. I posted one below.)

The article can be found here:

The article begins: "There has been growing talk about a clean-tech race between China and the U.S., often cast in ominous tones. But the quest to develop and implement renewable energy can be one where both nations win."

You can also vote at the bottom on the following question:

Should The United States Fear a Greening China?

  • No, China has not been able to duplicate innovation in technology and there is no way to export installation and sales jobs.
  • Yes, Instead of the US depending on the Middle East for energy, we will be relying on China for alternative energy and contine to lose jobs to them.

And the comment:

America should not "fear" a Greentech Race with China.
Read THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN's "Earth Race" strategy, modeled on the Space Race as an international competition in the renewable energy & cleantech space:
...the goal of Earth Racers is to focus on getting the U.S. Senate to pass an energy bill, with a long-term price on carbon that will really stimulate America to become the world leader in clean-tech.
If we lead by example, more people will follow us by emulation than by compulsion of some U.N. treaty.
"I believe that averting catastrophic climate change is a huge scale issue. The only engine big enough to impact Mother Nature is Father Greed: the Market.
Today, we need the Earth Race: who can be the first to invent the most clean technologies so men and women can live safely here on Earth.
Maybe the best thing President Obama could have done in Copenhagen was to make clear that America intends to win that race. All he needed to do in his speech was to look China’s prime minister in the eye and say: “I am going to get our Senate to pass an energy bill with a price on carbon so we can clean your clock in clean-tech. This is my moon shot. Game on!”
Because once we get America racing China, China racing Europe, Europe racing Japan, Japan racing Brazil, we can quickly move down the innovation-manufacturing curve and shrink the cost of electric cars, batteries, solar and wind so these are no longer luxury products for the wealthy nations but commodity items the third world can use and even produce.
start the conversation with giving birth to a “whole new industry” — one that will make us more energy independent, prosperous, secure, innovative, respected and able to out-green China in the next great global industry.
An Earth Race led by America — built on markets, economic competition, national self-interest and strategic advantage — is a much more self-sustaining way to reduce carbon emissions than a festival of voluntary, nonbinding commitments at a U.N. conference. Let the Earth Race begin."

(Posted by: Lloyd Helferty Advisory Committee Member at International Biochar Initiative)

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