A report this week shows that China is leading all nations in investment in renewable energy development. Of the $38 billion spent worldwide in 2005, China was responsible for $6 billion or nearly 16% of the total. The US was a distant third despite boasting a GDP almost six times greater than that of China.
The uncomfortable question American's will increasingly be facing is "are we capable of doing anything?". While the US is idle, two of the developing nations Bush most often points the finger at for not being a part of Kyoto are leading with some of the boldest renewable energy policies in the world.
In addition to their investment in renewable energy, China already has legislated renewable energy targets while an expanding number of their wealthiest businessmen are heading companies that produce clean power, including the sectors richest citizen. The story is similar in Brazil where earlier this year the country attained energy independence, largely through committing their economy to domestically produced ethanol from sugar cane, ensuring a lower carbon impact for their developing economy.
In the way of comparison, the US has no legislated renewable energy targets and has ensured their own economy will be wedded to foreign supplies of fossil fuels into the unforeseen future by aggressively pursuing Canadian oil and gas interests, invading two middle eastern countries, and laying plans for the invasion of a third.
Meanwhile, their policy is fronted by the dollars from the fossil fuel, and military industries under the guise of 'security', and the fallacious cat calls of 'questionable science' directed at climate change experts by oil funded lobbies.
American citizen's in general, and conservative's in particular are quickly approaching a reckoning, and the confrontation of a shattering reality. If America is the leader of the modern world, why do they lean like a drunken cripple on the oil of other countries and the loans of other nations? Why are they training their eyes and their guns on the citizens of their own country, while ignoring larger threats facing us all? Why do they devote their resources to foreign conquest and leave their own cities in ruin? And why do they deny rational evidence of global warming, while they point the finger at every other nation to do something about it? Are these the actions of a leader?
It took Brazil three decades of dedicated policy to attain energy independence. The US can take the first steps towards regaining their own independence on November 7th.