Monday, September 20, 2010

Climate change = J.O.B.S.

Posted By on Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 1:22 PM

China, where climate change isn't up for debate, is an example of how to turn the issue into work for the people. So, why are we continuing to cling to our aging electrical infrastructure in the U.S.? Seriously. Look around your life. In what ways does it resemble life in the early 1900s? The answer is on your wall. We're still creating and transmitting electricity in many of the same ways we were 80-90 years ago even though the gadgets that rely on that juice are much, much more sophisticated.

Let's stop stalling, stop arguing and do that thing Americans do: Let's rock the climate change job market with ingenuity, creative genius, efficiency and our famous workaholic tendencies.

We do not want to look back 80-90 years from now and say, "Remember when we were on top of the world?" in Chinese.

From The New York Times' Thomas L. Friedman:

“There is really no debate about climate change in China,” said Peggy Liu, chairwoman of the Joint U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, a nonprofit group working to accelerate the greening of China. “China’s leaders are mostly engineers and scientists, so they don’t waste time questioning scientific data.” The push for green in China, she added, “is a practical discussion on health and wealth. There is no need to emphasize future consequences when people already see, eat and breathe pollution every day.”

And because runaway pollution in China means wasted lives, air, water, ecosystems and money — and wasted money means fewer jobs and more political instability — China’s leaders would never go a year (like we will) without energy legislation mandating new ways to do more with less. It’s a three-for-one shot for them. By becoming more energy efficient per unit of G.D.P., China saves money, takes the lead in the next great global industry and earns credit with the world for mitigating climate change.

So while America’s Republicans turned “climate change” into a four-letter word — J-O-K-E — China’s Communists also turned it into a four-letter word — J-O-B-S.

Read the rest of this op-ed column here.

Check out this Dec. '09 video about China's wind energy projects:

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. She will be a guest on WFAE's "Charlotte Talks" program Sept. 23rd where she'll discuss coal ash. She'll also be live-Tweeting from TEDxCharlotte Sept. 24. Additionally, she's on the steering committee for the Greater Charlotte Society of Professional Journalists. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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