China eats our lunch..and everyone elses too!
Looks like America could be screwed in the 21st century. Energy Secretary Steven Chu warned today that China is throttling the US when it comes to new energy innovation. As far as world markets go – the Chinese are responsible for manufacturing more than 20% of high tech exports – the US – less than 15%. Of the 50 new nuclear reactors being built around the world – China has built 30 – the US – 2. And when it comes to clean and efficient travel – China has 5,612 of high-speed rail under construction – that’s a world record. The US has 0 miles. Last year – more than half of US patents when to foreign countries – we’re simply not innovating anymore as a country. China on the other hand – ranks 5th in collecting international patents. And finally – the US company Applied Material just built the world’s largest solar energy research and development facility. Guess where they built it – China. That’s why Energy Secretary Chu is now calling for an immediate ramp up of funding for research and development of clean energy technology. Of course – more funding will depend on the whims of Congressional Republicans. Did you know that not a single incoming Republican lawmaker believes in the science behind global warming?! Not one! The caucus also relies heavily on special interest money from big oil polluters. So while China prepares to lead the world during this century – Republicans will ensure that their oil buddies can continue getting rich by pumping every last bit of oil. I mean there are still trillions of dollars in profits left underground. And when that oil finally runs dry – and we haven't invested in alternatives - guess who’ll be screwed? All of us.
Yes, China is eating our lunch at this time. But the operative phrase is, "at this time," because in order to keep manufacturing the cheap plastic crap that we buy at WalMart, KMart, Sears, and of course at The Donald Trump Church of the Almighty Dollar and Frightening Comb-Over Emporium, Chinese manufacturers are horrifically polluting their own country. There is a very serious ongoing health care crisis in China. It started when Mao forced farmers to put crude little metal foundries in their back yards, thus polluting millions and millions of different places in China. And built dirty power plants and factories with no pollution controls or environmental laws. It is as impossible for China to escape the results of what they are doing to their own country, as it was- and is- for us to escape what we have done to our American environment. And it's not just in countries, either. 25 years ago, I fished in the Bering Sea- one of the most clean oceans in the world. Our boat had 12 people working 24 hours a day on the candling table. A candling table is a uniquely modern invention in that its only purpose is to shine a bank of powerful lights through the translucent plastic conveyer belt that that fish fillets are riding on, to enable workers to see the fillets that have tumors in them. The good fish, we turned into frozen fish sticks. The tons and tons and tons of tumorous fish fillets, we threw into 55-gallon barrels. And when the barrels were full we ground the tumorous fish into a vomitous-looking mush that was sold to Japanese companies as surimi- very popular over there. That was 25 years ago. The only time I eat any fish or other food from the oceans, is when it would be impolite to refuse. Because so much of the pollution from every country has been running into the oceans for so long, the oceans may be more polluted than the land- especially with the types of pollutants that can ride the rivers until the rivers dump their waters into the oceans. But there are some countries that are probably more polluted than the oceans, and China is right up there. The factories that are being built there, are being built there not only to take advantage of slave labor, prisoner labor, child labor, and serf labor, but also because there are no "inconvenient" pollution laws.
But on the other hand, if the Chinese government ever figures out that polluting their own country isn't a good idea, they will act far, far more quickly and effectively than the American government ever has, to turn the situation around. When corporate executives and manufacturing plant managers disagree with the Chinese government, they get imprisoned or shot. So maybe one day China's environment will be cleaner than ours.