Two Paragraphs that Kick Ass

Thomas Friedman’s column in yesterday’s Sunday New York Times was one of those that pressed play and made me want to pump my fist.  Maybe like my friends who went to a Van Halen concert this weekend.

Here are two paragraphs:

This is a column about energy and environment and why we must not let the poisonous debate about climate change so tie us in knots that we cannot have any energy policy at all, particularly one focused on developing much more efficient use of resources, through better designs and systems. If you are so reckless as to dismiss all climate science as a hoax, and do not accept the data that our planet is getting hotter and the oceans rising, I can’t help you. That’s between you and your beach house — and your kids, whose future you’re imperiling.

But you better believe this: The planet is getting flatter and more crowded. There will be two billion more people here by 2050, and they will all want to live and drive just like us. And when they do, there is going to be one monster traffic jam and pollution cloud, unless we learn how to get more mobility, lighting, heating and cooling from less energy and with less waste — with so many more people. We can’t let the climate wars continue to derail efforts to have an energy policy that puts in place rising efficiency standards, for buildings, windows, traffic, housing, packaging and appliances, that will drive innovation — which is our strength — in what has to be the next great global industry: energy and resource efficiency.

Friedman then cites two new books; both proposing business models for our future.

Gasoline is a hair below $4 a gallon again.  The last time we were here, those pump prices seemed to be spurring populist support for a national energy policy of (gasp!) a “balanced mix of production, conservation and innovation in alternative fuels” (per President Obama this week).

Do I hear a power chord?

Cool energy metaphor: phones have replaced lighters at concerts (...but you knew that)


About John Wackman

A writer since I learned to hold a pencil (no, not like that...hold it like this!). Long-time writer/producer for television, now organizer of Repairs Cafes in the Hudson Valley (13 & counting!) -- Program Manager of Solarize Hudson Valley, non-profit, state supported, community sponsored renewable energy program. We're all re-inventing ourselves. It's a sci-fi world, isn't it?
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3 Responses to Two Paragraphs that Kick Ass

  1. Thomas Friedman is one of the sane hopeful voices in the USA. As an outsider ( i am an Aussie) i have been watching the ways of the USA since I was a wee nipper. I remember once asking my mother when I was about 5 years old what it was like in Australia. Where do you think you live? she asked me. Well . . .America of course. Of course mother was appalled. I soon learned that I lived in Australia, and ever since then I have been gauging other’s reactions to the USA one of the most interesting countries of the 21st Century. Oh do the people of Rome . . .sorry America realise how loved and hated is the USA measure by measure? We in the antipodes have been paying well and truly more than $4.00 a gallon for quite some time. But we don’t measure in gallons anymore . . .like the rest of the world we adopted the metric system. Ummm in the ’60s. So much simpler. Just one of the many relics of the imperial might of Rome . .err USA – why do i keep doing that? Yes as citizens of the gee . . .free world . . .we do love many things about America and what it stands for, or stood for. Yes America was the bastion of freedom, liberty, truth etc. But just like the yin-yang symbol things have a habit of turning into their opposites. And here we are. America has become a sort of sad parody of itself. If it wasn’t so on the ropes right now economically the citizenry may not quite grok how morally compromised the proposition has become. Mussolini famously declared that Fascism was nothing but the merger of corporate and State power. By which definition the USA is now in competition with China as holder of the title: The greatest fascist power on Earth. But Friedman is so right and we are reminded that the Chinese character for crisis is the same as the character for opportunity. I am one of those global citizens who would very much like to see the USA shine once more. From the time at my mother’s knee when I realized I wasn’t an American to a maturing view informed me that I am a citizen of the world. C’mon America – time to shine once more!

  2. I am planting peas today and the weather makes me feel like I am behind. This is easily the mildest winter overall of my 33 years in the mountains of western NC. What better example of corporate media control than the fact that climate change is now an issue that most politicians won’t touch. Friedman is dead on, but the cynicism about the powers that be has me in its grip just as much now as it has since the 60’s. Thanks, John, for helping to keep climate issues afloat.

  3. Scott says:

    Pretty hard to argue with!

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