|Look familiar? The "new"|
dual-flush toilet has been
common in China for
almost two decades.
This ignorance with respect to China’s environmental policies explains much about why the United States is falling behind as other nations strive to develop their green technologies. We arrogantly assume that we lead the world in this regard, when in fact we’re rapidly becoming third-rate.
Americans are scarcely aware of this state of affairs because both our government and our media seldom miss a chance to bash the Chinese over their environmental record. Yet this serves mainly to divert attention from the lagging state of our own green technology and the sclerotic legislators who are to blame for it. The truth is that, despite relentlessly negative press, China is already well positioned to overtake us in environmentally progressive policies.
|Electric bikes: A fixture on Chinese streets|
for the last fifteen years.
Seen any of them in the U.S. yet?
The Chinese enthusiastically adopted high-efficiency lighting two decades ago, not only in commercial applications but also in their homes. This should come as no surprise, since China is among the world’s leading manufacturers of lighting.
|The Nanjing subway: Clean, quiet,|
and with stops announced in English.
As for gaining independence from foreign oil, many Chinese cities are busily upgrading their public transportation systems or even building new ones from scratch. Not long ago, for example, I had the pleasure of riding the Nanjing subway, and the sad truth is that no existing American subway system can approach it. The trains and stations are both attractive and immaculate. Electronic displays in each car show the train’s progress in real time, and stops are automatically (and intelligibly) announced in both Chinese and English.
|Shanghai freeways are lit by LEDs—|
an American invention. Why aren't ours?
This is the nation we’re supposed to impress with waterless toilets?