The other day, a radio program on green technology once again reminded me how out of touch we Americans are with the green movement across the globe. The announcer was talking — with the usual condescension — about "bringing a waterless toilet to China," as if the Chinese were primitives incapable of figuring out how to save water, let alone build their own toilets.
This ignorance of China’s environmental policies explains much about why the U.S. is falling behind as other nations strive to develop their green technologies. We arrogantly assume that we lead the world in this regard, when in fact we’re rapidly becoming third-rate.
Americans are scarcely aware of this state of affairs because both our government and our media seldom miss a chance to bash the Chinese over their environmental record. Yet this serves mainly to divert attention from the lagging state of our own green technology and the sclerotic legislators who are to blame for it.
The truth is that, despite relentlessly negative press, China is already well positioned to overtake the U.S. in environmentally progressive policies.