China isn't only threatening the American recovery with its credit tightening and digital espionage. As New York Times columnist Bob Herbert noted, it's also "sprinting past everybody else in the world, including the United States, in the race to develop clean energy." Last year China became the globe's biggest manufacturer not only of solar panels but also wind turbines, and is pursuing other renewable technologies. "That we are allowing this to happen is beyond stupid," Herbert wrote. "China is a poor country with nothing comparable to the tremendous research, industrial and economic resources that the U.S. has been blessed with. Yet they're blowing us away — at least for the moment — in the race to the future."