Monday, 14 February 2005

Going "Geo-Green"

Best known as a foreign policy wonk, and Middle East expert, Thomas Friedman has coined a new term, as he unleashes on the continued insanity from the Bush administration.
By adamantly refusing to do anything to improve energy conservation in America, or to phase in a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax on American drivers, or to demand increased mileage from Detroit's automakers, or to develop a crash program for renewable sources of energy, the Bush team is - as others have noted - financing both sides of the war on terrorism. ...

The neocon strategy may have been necessary to trigger reform in Iraq and the wider Arab world, but it will not be sufficient unless it is followed up by what I call a "geo-green" strategy. As a geo-green, I believe that combining environmentalism and geopolitics is the most moral and realistic strategy the United States could pursue today. Imagine if Bush used his bully pulpit and political capital to focus the nation on sharply lowering energy consumption and embracing a gasoline tax.
Friedman introduced his geo-green concept a couple of weeks earlier in an article which has enjoyed wide distribution across the political spectrum. So if the threat of global environmental catastrophe is not enough to wake up institutions that we need to change the way we're doing business, will more people exposing the fiscal and geo-political necessity of doing so finally begin to get traction?

Maybe, but it's almost become an article of faith to some on the right, many of whom are in the Bush Administration, that environmentalists outside of the corporate boardroom greenwashers must wear the "wacko" label, and any concessions to their agenda might legitimize other reforms at odds with the corporate agenda. This is exactly the sort of adversarial relationship that must be overcome in order for sanity to prevail. Folks like Friedman should be giving the right cover for adopting at least portions of an environmental agenda for national security reasons, but the good-old-boy corporate networking dies hard, and I don't expect much capitulation while Bush still resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, in spite of the lip service he paid to hydrogen fuel cells in his 2003 State of the Union address.

As Friedman concludes his article, "The president's priorities are totally nuts."

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