in more than one instance, we've referred to the incredible challenge that China faces as it rapidly industrializes. On the one hand, its economic development is pulling millions out of poverty and helping its citizens enjoy a standard of living that many in the industrialized world have come to take for granted.
On the other hand, there's no doubt that China is powering its industrial development with millions upon million of tons of coal -- a development that's problematic for the rest of the world, as well as the Chinese people, when it comes to air quality and the emission of greenhouse gases.
One way to combat that would be to encourage the China to develop its domestic nuclear power industry, an initiative that earned an interesting supporter over the weekend -- Eleanor Clift of Newsweek. Here's what she had to say on this weekend's edition of the McLaughlin Group (transcript not yet available online):
[T]hey have huge problems -- problems with pollution, with global warming.While nobody likes to be referred to as the lesser of two evils, this is the kind of endorsement the industry is happy to take. Thanks, Eleanor.
Al Gore, who just won a Nobel peace prize, is talking with the Chinese leaders, and he's our best hope to get them to skip a generation of energy production and not build all those cheap coal plants and instead go nuclear, which is the lesser of the two evils.