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Time Magazine Gets It Wrong!

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In case you missed Thomas Friedman’s year end Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for a hopeful start to the new year. Commenting on Time Magazine’s choice of “You” as Person of the Year, Friedman says he would have instead chosen Green as the Color of the Year. He writes:

“We reached a tipping point this year — where living, acting, designing, investing and manufacturing green came to be understood by a critical mass of citizens, entrepreneurs and officials as the most patriotic, capitalistic, geopolitical, healthy and competitive thing they could do. Hence my own motto: “Green is the new red, white and blue.”

Eco-Chick has a reprint of the entire piece. Check it out!

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Is This Policy Dumb, Stupid or Both?

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If I could say it any better I would. But Thomas Friedman’s 9/20/06 column in the New York Times on taxing ethanol imports highlights the political and structural obstacles to common sense.

Friedman writes:

Thanks to pressure from Midwest farmers and agribusinesses, who want to protect the U.S. corn ethanol industry from competition from Brazilian sugar ethanol, we have imposed a stiff tariff to keep it out. We do this even though Brazilian sugar ethanol provides eight times the energy of the fossil fuel used to make it, while American corn ethanol provides only 1.3 times the energy of the fossil fuel used to make it. We do this even though sugar ethanol reduces greenhouses gases more than corn ethanol. And we do this even though sugar cane ethanol can easily be grown in poor tropical countries in Africa or the Caribbean, and could actually help alleviate their poverty. Yes, you read all this right. We tax imported sugar ethanol, which could finance our poor friends, but we don’t tax imported crude oil, which definitely finances our rich enemies. We’d rather power anti-Americans with our energy purchases than promote antipoverty.

The question is what do we do to change this ridiculous situation? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Tom Friedman Says Green is the New Red White & Blue

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I’ve always respected Thomas Friedman. He's smart as a whip, but he's recently become too conservative for my taste. When he says all trade is good trade, and he’d support any free trade agreement without even reading it, he’s gone too far for my tastes. But he’s also a big advocate for alternative energy and a huge critic of the White House inaction on global warming.

Over the weekend, on the Tim Russert show, he went so far as to say that “green” is the new red, white and blue, and the most patriotic thing anyone can do.”

I guess I need to be a fan again. For a price, you can check out his New York Times columns here.

He's also hosting a good documentary on the Discovery channel called Addicted to Oil. It will be rebroadcast on August 14th at 8:00 and 11:00 pm and on August 20th at 7:00 am.

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