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Published on April 23rd, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer


Poll and Glass of Water Show it is the Chinese Who Live in the Land of the Free, Not Americans

April 23rd, 2010 by  

Yesterday when Senator John Kerry was begging the polluters who actually run this country not to be mean about the new energy bill he is attempting to thread through the tiny Senate needle of their opposition, he told a very illustrative story about the widening gap between the US and China. On a pre-climate-bill-release We Can Lead phone call, he described being extremely dismayed by a glass of water.


Kerry was on a high speed train in China, and the glass of water on his table was perfectly stable at 300 miles an hour. By contrast, as he pointed out, our piddly little old underfunded Amtrack just veers about on its ancient old tracks, voted in decades before filibusters killed good governance. We are falling behind our main competitor technologically in a kind of massive infrastructure failure.

A poll out today from Ernst & Young’s Global Automotive Center shows why.

There is now a widening gulf between consumers in a failing state and one that lets its citizens know about climate change. While in this country the ruling mob continues to bully scientists about whether climate change even exists; in China 60% of consumers are ready to get off fossil fuels and buy an electric car because, in a poll result that could only come in a nation not subjected to Fox News, 82% of them see the environmental reasons for that.

Only 12% of Americans are as ready to buy an EV. Lucky for EV makers, China is the biggest market in the world. They’re not spoiled either. Eighty two percent of them are fine with a range of under 200 miles per charge. Most believe that electric-powered vehicles will outnumber gasoline powered vehicles within 20 years or less, and 65% say it is worth it to them to pay higher taxes to subsidize the new infrastructure needed to make it all work: public electric car charging stations.

So which nation is free? It’s true that China censors things. But it censors things that don’t matter. If Falung Gong has fewer adherents, cities won’t drown. If petty town officials are illegally bribed in China it doesn’t remake the planet into one that humans have never lived on.

While other countries may make use of bribes, in no other country is government itself so hampered by formal, legal bribery. Corruption is baked into the cake. Both the obliviousness to the climate catastrophe bearing down on us, and our inability as a nation to agree to man-up to the infrastructure needed to counter it, hampers our ability to solve the big problems and compete with China. Only what pleases the traditional energy businesses that run our nation can pass in congress. Only the knowledge that pleases it will be allowed its citizens. And that means we’re a nation of dummies fighting over the crumbs from the table of plutocrats.

What happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Image: BaliDailyPhoto

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

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