Why let China win? I’m not talking about this month’s trade war, but something of greater long-term import: the U.S. is running a dismal second in the century-defining Green Race.

Vintage voters may remember the Space Race. In the late 1950s, the U.S. was afraid Russia would beat us into space and perhaps even militarize it. Hence, JFK’s call for a (successful) moon shot. National pride and technology soared — the internet, wireless, computers, satellites, mobile telecommunications, GPS and robotics all blossomed from NASA efforts.

Déjà vu. Here we are again, this time running a dismal second place in a critical but unheralded race with China: The Green Race.

You see, even without U.S. participation, the rest of the world — and especially China — is transforming as rapidly as possible to renewable energy. Wind, solar, and geothermal energy generation now costs as little as oil, gas and coal — without all that nasty, toxic, reef-killing, ocean level-raising carbon.

Yet, as a nation, we don’t even realize we’re in a race.

China is TODAY the world leader in clean energy. They lead in wind. They lead in solar. They lead in batteries. And they lead in electric vehicles. By far. With 200% of U.S. wind capacity. With 60% of the global solar market. With six out of the last seven mega-green energy deals.

Yes, China today dominates the global Green Race, and as fossil fuel energy dies out, the U.S. economy as constituted will die out with it. Unless we get in the race.

Vast individual and national wealth is waiting to be created — like when cars took over from buggies. Or when TV took over from radio. Or when the internet took over from newspapers. Vast fortunes that will go to the Chinese unless we get smart today.

Look, it took just 10 years for Uruguay to go 100% solar for energy. We can do this. We saved the western world for and undertook the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, all in the space of about eight years. We can win the Green Race.

But we must choose to, or it will soon be too late.

It all starts with electing a President and Congress that fully understand that we are in a Green Race with China — and with the clock of mortality. We might just save an imperiled earth.

As a nation, let’s purposely, urgently invest in dominating Clean Energy and Smart Grid Infrastructure to grow vast new fortunes, help defeat global warming, improve national security, strengthen our dwindling lead in the world economy, reinvigorate U.S. manufacturing, and provide millions of living-wage jobs for our citizens.

This election cycle, let’s really get to work to beat China and win the 21st century-defining Green Race.

Paul Hudson is a Bloomfield resident.