Screw the whole "save the Earth" thing. The real reason to start investing in green projects and alternative energy is to crush China in the international marketplace. At least, that's what Thomas Friedman thinks.
In his latest column for the New York Times, Thomas Friedman describes China's growing prowess in the development of alternative energy:
Yes, climate change is a concern for Beijing, but more immediately China's leaders know that their country is in the midst of the biggest migration of people from the countryside to urban centers in the history of mankind. This is creating a surge in energy demand, which China is determined to meet with cleaner, homegrown sources so that its future economy will be less vulnerable to supply shocks, and so it doesn't pollute itself to death.
In the past year alone, so many new solar panel makers emerged in China that the price of solar power has fallen from roughly 59 cents a kilowatt hour to 16 cents, according to The New York Times' bureau chief here, Keith Bradsher. Meanwhile, China last week tested the fastest bullet train in the world - 217 mph - from Wuhan to Guangzhou. As Bradsher noted, China "has nearly finished the construction of a high-speed rail route from Beijing to Shanghai at a cost of $23.5 billion.
China is also engaged in the world's most rapid expansion of nuclear power. It is expected to build some 50 new nuclear reactors by 2020; the rest of the world combined might build 15.
This is a strategic inflection point. It is clear that if we, America, care about our energy security, economic strength and environmental quality we need to put in place a long-term carbon price that stimulates and rewards clean power innovation. We can't afford to be asleep with an invigorated China wide awake.
via San Jose Merc