Monday, July 6, 2009

The Energy Technology Olympics

One thing that consistently made me uncomfortable when I lived in China was everyday nationalism. And one thing that consistently makes me uncomfortable now that I live in the USA again is everyday nationalism.

Community-level cultural solidarity I feel. Planet-scale compassion I feel. Drawing boundaries between Americans and Chinese and Italians and Tanzanians, however, doesn't make as much sense to me. I get that it's useful in lots of ways, but I don't like that it closes minds to exchange and evolution.

That said, I think Thomas Friedman made a compelling argument for nationalism over the weekend.

He thinks everyone in the world should be competing to create the energy technologies that'll lead us to a sustainable future.

He thinks Chinese nationalism has led to aggressive lawmaking, which has already become a positive force in creating that competition.

And he hopes American nationalism follows suit.

Makes me squirm a little. But you gotta love competition when the race is to the top.

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