11/18/2011 01:46 pm ET Updated Jan 18, 2012

How China Is Beating The U.S.

Where would the U.S. be today if in the 1940s we had decided the Manhattan Project was too expensive and shelved it - even as Germany threw all its resources into successfully developing the A-bomb?

A scary thought. Today, though, we're flubbing an equally momentous choice. Just substitute China for Germany and critical commodities for nuclear weapons.

The world is entering an era of resource scarcity. China's leadership recognizes this and is beating us to the punch. They're racing to accumulate critical and diminishing resources vital to every aspect of modern life, from growing and transporting food to making and running the computers and other electronic devices upon which our economy - and our military - depend. Of prime importance to the future, these resources are essential to building an alternative energy infrastructure.

China has committed to spending at least $2.5 trillion over the next five years on new industries, primarily new energies. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration's increase of federal subsidies for wind and solar to $14.7 billion is criticized here, as described in a recent New York Times article, as "overly generous."

Here are a few examples of how China already has outstripped us. For more, check out my book "Red Alert: How China's Prosperity Threatens the American Way of Life":