We’ve written a few times about how China has the opportunity (and seems to be taking it) to increase its global influence and power thanks to the Trump presidency. There are various avenues for achieving that, but the largest of them seems to be Trump’s (and the Republican Party’s) science denial and absurd ideas regarding global warming and sensible climate action.
Now, another global superpower is following suit with this opening, but much more directly. Thanks to a comment from CleanTechnica reader “Stoli Cat,” we’ve got this gem of a video from France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron:
Indeed — those of us who have paid any real attention to climate science know that we are risking the human species by not acting fast, but it’s also common knowledge now that climate and cleantech solutions are some of the biggest (or the biggest) economic drivers of the 21st century. To miss the beat on this opportunity to grow one’s global economic leadership is pure idiocy.
US solar and wind power jobs grew approximately 12 times faster than the US economy as a whole in recent years.
In 2015, it was reported that wind turbine technician had become the #1 fastest-growing job in the United States. Worth noting is that this is an ideal blue-collar job for moderately educated people, and mostly in “Republican states.” The median salary was $48,800 with only “some college” considered to be the typical education needs. You’d be hard-pressed to dream up a better job for people in red states looking for work.
Meanwhile, the US has tens of thousands of Americans employed in factories related to the production of electric cars, electric buses, solar panels, and wind turbines. First Solar, SunPower, GE, Tesla, Proterra, BYD, Nissan, GM, and many others employ large numbers of Americans — Democrats and Republicans — in important manufacturing jobs.
No doubt, France, China, and others would like to steal those manufacturing jobs, steal climate science jobs, and steal other high-quality 21st century jobs from the United States. The new president of France just made a direct appeal to people looking to work in these sectors. Brilliant. Intelligent. Visionary.
The next few years are still critical, formative years in the growth of the biggest industries of the century. To focus on trying to preserve outdated industries and miss the opportunity to lead on the ones that will dominate is just about the worst economic policy you can conjecture. Just throw in massive tax cuts for the rich for a bonus crash.
And what do you get for it all anyway? What do you get for obsessively trying to protect the pollution industries? Your citizens die younger, get cancer more, suffer more, deal with greater extreme disasters (superstorms, record droughts, record flooding…), suffer from asthma more, are exposed to more national security risks, etc., etc. Oh yeah, and pollution pushers put more cash money into your political campaigns.
Who’s really acting in the interest of American citizens and American jobs?