The Power of Green

– This is a piece from Thomas Friedman in the NY Times from 15 Apr 07. It makes for an excellent read. There were several ideas, quotes and points that came out of reading this that were important for me.

One of the best was what he calls, “The China Price“. The China Price is basically what China pays now for coal-fired electricity. China is much too driven by various factors to consider energy sources that would cost them more than the China Price. So, if the world cannot come up with clean energy sources that are cheaper than the China Price, then it is very unlikely China that will use them.  And without China onboard the environmental movement, it isn’t likely the world will be able to stem the tide of global change now bearing down on us. So the China Price is a critical piece in the puzzle before us.

Another point made was that he feels that America will only truely ‘get green‘ when the American military does. And the key to getting them involved is to convince them that, “Energy independence is a national security issue.

Here’s one quote about China which I found particularly telling:

“So, if you are a Chinese mayor and have to choose between growing jobs and cutting pollution, you will invariably choose jobs: coughing workers are much less politically dangerous than unemployed workers. That’s the key reason why China’s 10th five-year plan, which began in 2000, called for a 10 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide in China’s air – and when that plan concluded in 2005, sulfur dioxide pollution in China had increased by 27 percent.”

And, finally a quote from near the end of the piece when he’s discussing our current presidential hopefuls vs. the need for serious green activity in the US:

“Unfortunately, today’s presidential hopefuls are largely full of hot air on the climate-energy issue. Not one of them is proposing anything hard, like a carbon or gasoline tax, and if you think we can deal with these huge problems without asking the American people to do anything hard, you’re a fool or a fraud.”

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The Power of Green

One day Iraq, our post-9/11 trauma and the divisiveness of the Bush years will all be behind us — and America will need, and want, to get its groove back. We will need to find a way to reknit America at home, reconnect America abroad and restore America to its natural place in the global order — as the beacon of progress, hope and inspiration. I have an idea how. It’s called “green.”

In the world of ideas, to name something is to own it. If you can name an issue, you can own the issue. One thing that always struck me about the term “green” was the degree to which, for so many years, it was defined by its opponents — by the people who wanted to disparage it. And they defined it as “liberal,” “tree-hugging,” “sissy,” “girlie-man,” “unpatriotic,” “vaguely French.”

Well, I want to rename “green.” I want to rename it geostrategic, geoeconomic, capitalistic and patriotic. I want to do that because I think that living, working, designing, manufacturing and projecting America in a green way can be the basis of a new unifying political movement for the 21st century. A redefined, broader and more muscular green ideology is not meant to trump the traditional Republican and Democratic agendas but rather to bridge them when it comes to addressing the three major issues facing every American today: jobs, temperature and terrorism.

How do our kids compete in a flatter world? How do they thrive in a warmer world? How do they survive in a more dangerous world? Those are, in a nutshell, the big questions facing America at the dawn of the 21st century. But these problems are so large in scale that they can only be effectively addressed by an America with 50 green states — not an America divided between red and blue states.

Because a new green ideology, properly defined, has the power to mobilize liberals and conservatives, evangelicals and atheists, big business and environmentalists around an agenda that can both pull us together and propel us forward. That’s why I say: We don’t just need the first black president. We need the first green president. We don’t just need the first woman president. We need the first environmental president. We don’t just need a president who has been toughened by years as a prisoner of war but a president who is tough enough to level with the American people about the profound economic, geopolitical and climate threats posed by our addiction to oil — and to offer a real plan to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

More…

– This article is from the NY Times and they insist that folks have an ID and a PW in order to read their stuff. You can get these for free just by signing up. However, recently, a friend of mine suggested the website bugmenot.com :arrow: as an alternative to having to do these annoying sign ups. Check it out. Thx Bruce S. for the tip.

– research thanks as well to John P. for this article.

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