A special Labor Day essay!
China is the world’s biggest investor in and producer of green energy. Their participation in solar and wind energy is nothing short of breathtaking. They would seem to be a model to the rest of us of how an economy can go green.
They are, however, also the world’s biggest investor in and producer of dirty energy, in particular coal. In addition, they notoriously pollute the environments of their own billions of expendable citizens.
They are the best and the worst. What is going on here? May I speculate?
First, they know that green energy is the unavoidable path of the future. Civilization will collapse into a dark ages pile of wiggling failures if we do not embrace renewable, clean energy. They know this as much as anybody. They do not deny it, unlike the executives of American coal and oil corporations. Accordingly, China (led by its top-down imposition of economic priorities) leads the world in technological innovation of green energy. Someday, they are poised to lead the world.
Second, they also desire to bury the United States. I do not mean in a nuclear or violent way. But they want to bury us as a serious economic competitor. They plan to do this by out-producing us. They appear to be successful. They sell much much more to us than we sell to them. They will do this by using clean energy or dirty energy, whatever is at hand. Once they have buried us, they will be glad to switch to green energy, and at long last let their gasping, sick citizens breathe freely and let the skies become clear.
They are walking a tightrope, but they have done so many times before. They appear confident that they will lead the post-American world into a green energy future.