Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Al Gore, where are you...?

When we wasted food as children, our parents said, "Think of the starving children in China." Well, just wait till we get a look at the new China during the Olympics of 2008.

China is on its way to becoming the world's greatest superpower, and America's sense of entitlement is in for a shock.

Look again at the graph of total greenhouse emissions in yesterday's post. We are currently gobbling up more of the planet's nonrenewable resources than China, although China has a population more than four times greater than ours. By what God-given right do we appropriate so much of the planet's resources for ourselves? When China assumes the right to the same per capita energy consumption as the US, the top two bars of the graph will switch places and China's greenhouse emissions will be outta sight.

Ten-dollar-a-gallon gas? You betcha. Global warming? Hold onto your hat. China's thirst for oil will be insatiable, and we will be competing for every drop. You would think that in the face of this challenge a program for energy independence and greenhouse reductions would be a top priority of our government, but the short-term greed of the oil companies -- abetted by their surrogates in Washington -- trumps national wisdom.

China may sink us, but maybe, just maybe, they will show us the way to a green future. The Chinese have a long-suppressed gift for scientific and technological innovation. If that raw intellectual power is supported from the top in a national program of energy independence, China could be the "white knight" that saves us all.