If the reports we’re hearing about U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s trip to China this week are accurate, it’s another reminder of how badly the Clinton-Gore administration botched the Kyoto Protocol.
Remember that the idea coming out of Kyoto among American negotiators was that the U.S. could invent a lot of technology to reduce emissions, and then sell it to the developing world. When the Senate unanimously rejected the treaty, though, research and development of greenhouse-friendly energy technologies — predictably — did not take off in this country.
But apparently it did in China. According what Cantwell told participants at a green-tech conference in Shanghai, 650,000 of the 800,000 jobs related to solar energy worldwide are in China. Oh, well, that’s one opportunity missed for the United States.
Overall, though, the tone at the conference was that if Americans can be assured that China will crack down on violations of intellectual property rights, the two countries can make beautiful technology together, according to a dispatch by Elaine Kurtenbach of the Associated Press. Said Cantwell:
Technology exchange and intellectual property protection are wrapped together. It’s safe to say we have a lot of work to go. … If we can deal with these intellectual property issues, it’s huge. Hundreds of thousands of jobs can be created in both countries.
Now, keep in mind that as she spoke, it’s a fair bet that somewhere on the streets of Shanghai, someone was selling pirated copies of Inglourious Basterds. (Yes, we spelled the movie’s name right.)
(Readers: My sincere apologies that the earlier-posted version of this item had some technical problems. I’m on the road and don’t have constant internet access. More on that later this week. Thanks for sticking with us.)
— Robert McClure