Thomas Friedman, one of the world’s most influential columnists, has argued that China is aggressively moving into green technology. In a few years, the world will be buying its green tech from low-cost Chinese manufacturers, benefitting from its production advantage, manufacturing capacity and plentiful science and engineering talent. “Yes, China’s leaders have decided to go green — out of necessity because too many of their people can’t breathe, can’t swim, can’t fish, can’t farm and can’t drink thanks to pollution from its coal- and oil-based manufacturing growth engine. And, therefore, unless China powers its development with cleaner energy systems, and more knowledge-intensive businesses without smokestacks, China will die of its own development,” Friedman wrote. “Of course, China will continue to grow with cheap, dirty coal, to arrest over-eager environmentalists and to strip African forests for wood and minerals. Have no doubt about that. But have no doubt either that, without declaring it, China is embarking on a new, parallel path of clean power deployment and innovation. It is the Sputnik of our day. We ignore it at our peril.”
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