Marc, thanks for the quick response. Yes, we both support a carbon price, and I know you understand the critical role government investment in R&D and education play in innovation and economic growth. However, I think, as I've pointed out before, that your perception of the history of technology and economy progress is a bit skewed when it comes to the much more expansive role the government has played in partnership with and as the key enabling driver or private sector innovation and industry growth.
There would be no Silicon Valley, no IT revolution, no low-cost semiconductors affordable enough to enable the personal computer revolution, no nuclear power, no jet engines or gas turbines, no wind or solar power, etc. etc. etc. without a much more active - you might say 'intrusive' - role for government. That's simply the historic reality. I don't see how we can expect a clean energy revolution, much less U.S. leadership in that revolution, without a similarly active role for government, and you've yet to give me any confidence that your narrower prescription for government will be at all sufficient.
You also seem to ignore the fact that it's precisely the kind of proactive government investment and active partnership with industry that is giving China such an edge in the clean energy race. Their 'green leap forward' isn't fueled by a carbon price and some hands-off tax policies after all!
You write: "Besides, if it's OK for us to export eSolar's software or First Solar's technology (not to mention Microsoft's and Google's and Apple's), isn't is also OK for us to import toys, clothes, iPods or for that matter wind-turbine parts or PV panels from China, not to mention Denmark or Germany. Trade is a two-way street, right?"
Trade is certainly a two-way street, and we'll clearly import clean energy technologies and components from China. But you cannot ignore the balance of trade and the implications for our economy (let alone for the future of the middle class in America).
Finally, you write: "Mostly, I think, we should cheer when China goes green. Just like we would cheer for a medical breakthrough invented in India or go see a great movie made in the UK."
We should most certainly cheer. A green China is unquestionably good for the world. But after we cheer, it's time to get serious about the implications for America's future.