A lot of colleagues think this guy has jumped the shark, gone too establishment. They fail to see how he speaks simple universal truths.
Going Balmy and Green, Not Just for Christmas
Thomas Friedman, December 24, 2006 (NY Times via Husdson Valley/Catskills Times Herald-Record)
- …had I been editing Time magazine I would not have opted for the "you" in YouTube as Person of the Year — although that was very clever. No, I'd have run an all-green Time cover under the headline, "Color of the Year." Because I think that the most important thing to happen this past year was that living and thinking "green" — that is, mobilizing for the environmental/energy challenge we now face — hit Main Street.
For so many years the term "green" could never scale. It was trapped in a corner by its opponents, who defined it as "liberal," "tree-hugging," "girly-man," "unpatriotic," "vaguely French."
- No more. 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…"Green is the new red, white and blue."
- … the Pentagon has given birth to "Green Hawks," who are obsessed with powering our army with less energy…
- And now, Wal-Mart... has opened two green stores where it is experimenting with alternative building materials, lighting, power systems and designs, the best of which it plans to spread to all its outlets. I just visited the one in McKinney, Texas. From the big wind turbine in the parking lot and solar panels on key walls, which provide 15 percent of the store's electricity, to the cooking oil from fried chicken that is recycled in its bio-boiler and heats the store in winter, to the shift to LED lights in all exterior signs and grocery and freezer cases — which last longer and sharply reduce heat and therefore the air-conditioning bill — you know you're not in your parents' Wal-Mart…
- Hey, the more energy-saving bulbs Wal-Mart sells, the more innovation it triggers, the more prices go down. That's how you get scale. And scale is everything if you want to change the world, but to achieve scale you have to make sure that green energy sources — biofuels, clean coal, and solar, wind and nuclear power — can be delivered as cheaply as oil, gas and dirty coal. That will require a gasoline or carbon tax to keep the price of fossil fuels up so investors in green-tech will not get undercut while they drive innovation forward and prices down. The U.S. Congress has to stop running from this fact.
- Because while our embrace of green has finally reached a tipping point, the tipping point on climate change and species loss is also fast approaching, if it's not already here. There's no time to lose. "People see an endangered species every day now when they look in the mirror," said the environmentalist Rob Watson. "It is not about the whales anymore."