“There is really no debate about climate change in China,” said Peggy Liu, chairwoman of the Joint U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, a nonprofit group working to accelerate the greening of China. “China’s leaders are mostly engineers and scientists, so they don’t waste time questioning scientific data.”And this is the way for him to segue into how subsidizing and mandating green energy magically means JOBS. Well, it does in a communist dictatorship, but they could also say believing in Santa Claus creates jobs - they simply force people to say they believe in Santa Claus in return for money.
Progressive policies are the enemy of democracy, of course, so it's no surprise that Friedman wants to emulate China and stick it to voting Americans who have trouble sifting through which researchers and methods are legitimate and which are just chasing funding (answer, Mr. Friedman - read this site). Worried about pollution before the Olympics? Ban cars - for everyone except the communist leadership, of course. Want to build a dam? Displace millions of peasants from their homes - they can't vote anyway.
Friedman is no slouch at framing, either. People die in China if there is air pollution, he insists, despite there being no accurate records (non-Chinese) of either deaths or pollution there, so they are Compassionate Communists for doing something.
“They’re able to quickly throw spaghetti on the wall to see what clean-tech models stick," he quotes Liu. Well, of course, they can. It isn't like failed policies will get them voted out of office.
But mostly he seems to wish Americans were more intellectually docile and that anything they are told by Leaders they would simply follow. I suppose it is fine, in his estimation, providing he is one of the Leaders.
The trade-off in a democracy is that some people just aren't going to accept science and a great many are going to be skeptical when they feel like the researchers in a field are not trusted guides but rather advocates for policies. I wouldn't trade that freedom for anything, but clearly Friedman would.