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Friday, January 06, 2006

Thomas Friedman: Living Green

Thomas Friedman continues to push for increased energy efficiency and independence:

The New Red, White and Blue, by Thomas L. Friedman, Commentary, NY Times: ...What's so disturbing about President Bush and Dick Cheney is that they talk tough about the necessity of invading Iraq, torturing terror suspects and engaging in domestic spying - all to defend our way of life and promote democracy ... But when it comes to what is actually the most important issue in U.S. ... policy today - making ourselves energy efficient and independent ... - they ridicule it as something only liberals, tree-huggers and sissies believe is possible or necessary.

Sorry, but being green, focusing the nation on greater energy efficiency and conservation, is not some girlie-man issue. It is actually the most tough-minded, geostrategic, pro-growth and patriotic thing we can do. Living green is not for sissies. Sticking with oil, ... saying that a country that can double the speed of microchips every 18 months is ... incapable of innovating its way to energy independence - that is for sissies, defeatists and people who are ready to see American values eroded at home and abroad. ...

The biggest threat to America and its values today is not communism, authoritarianism or Islamism. It's petrolism. Petrolism is my term for the corrupting, antidemocratic governing practices - in oil states from Russia to Nigeria and Iran - that result from a long run of $60-a-barrel oil. Petrolism is the politics of using oil income to buy off one's citizens with subsidies and government jobs, using oil and gas exports to intimidate or buy off one's enemies, and using oil profits to build up one's internal security forces and army to keep oneself ensconced in power - without any transparency or checks and balances. ...

Our energy gluttony fosters and strengthens various kinds of petrolist regimes. .... Most of these petrolist regimes would have collapsed long ago, ... but they were saved by our energy excesses. No matter what happens in Iraq, we cannot dry up the swamps of authoritarianism and violent Islamism ... without also ... bringing down the price of crude. A democratization policy in the Middle East without a different energy policy at home is a waste of time, money and, most important, the lives of our young people. That's because there is a huge difference in what these bad regimes can do with $20-a-barrel oil compared with the current $60-a-barrel oil. ...

We need a president and a Congress with the guts not just to invade Iraq, but to impose a gasoline tax and inspire conservation at home. That takes a real energy policy with long-term incentives ... - rather than the welfare-for-oil-companies-and-special-interests that masqueraded last year as an energy bill. Enough of this Bush-Cheney nonsense that conservation, energy efficiency and environmentalism are some hobby we can't afford. I can't think of anything more cowardly or un-American. Real patriots, real advocates of spreading democracy around the world, live green.

Green is the new red, white and blue.

    Posted by on Friday, January 6, 2006 at 12:11 AM in Economics, Environment, Oil, Politics | Permalink  TrackBack (1)  Comments (25)

          

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    » Astonishing slap in the face of Bush from Tom Friedman. from eternalhope.blog-city.com

    Tom Friedman has come back from vacation with an astonishing slap in the face of George Bush and Dick Cheney over their continued support of the failed politics of the past as opposed to the politics of the future. [Read More]

    Tracked on Friday, January 06, 2006 at 10:40 AM


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