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Can the U.S. develop a supergrid before China?

BOULDER, Colo. — In the winter of 2009, Alexander MacDonald, one of the world's top weather scientists, returned here from climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he had seen the idea of a workable, international strategy to combat climate change all but collapse. Then MacDonald came back to his office here, in a building full of meteorologists and other scientists who were voicing the same sense of despair. They said now global warming seemed almost unstoppable. That was the point when MacDonald became determined to prove them all wrong with a radical idea he had quietly been nurturing.

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