First, a caveat — China’s environmental situation differs distinctly from the US’s. Some estimates put China’s losses as a result of climate issues as high as 10% of GDP, mainly because of pollution. The US faces no such short-term pressure to spend on green technology. However, China’s spending on green technology reflects an understanding that such investments are a logical and even necessary response to a growing resource scarcity — ie: finite fossil fuels. China’s spending gives the US an example of how government can push the economy in a certain direction, without a negative public response. The difference between China’s more centralized government and ours should be noted, though, along with the so far limited efficacy of their green programs.
I think we should learn that we need to think about the bigger picture rather than how to make the most money now. When the health of the environment is involved, it is important to understand that the process of creating a more sustainable future takes time and money. Many countries are more concerned with conserving cash flow and not investing in the future but this is where our heads need to be. Looking towards and investing in the future of our environment.
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