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Give Friedman the Damn Ball

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorApril 8, 2009 10:58 AM


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The thing you have to respect about Thomas Friedman is that he does halftime adjustments as well as Bill Belichick. So climate activists would be wise to pay special attention to today's column, because Friedman lays out the best game plan I've seen yet on how they can get their team back in the game. First, he argues that a straightforward carbon tax and not cap-and-trade should be the new Team Climate "strategy." No brainer there, based on last week's developments in Congress. Secondly, he advises Greens to stop painting pictures of imminent catastrophe from global warming:

...because the worst effects are in the future, many Americans have more immediate concerns.

Rather, Friedman writes, the new branding of "our energy policy should be focused around 'American renewal,' not mitigating climate change." Lastly, time for a quarterback switch. Instead of an environmentalist like Chu, put the ball in the hands of General James Jones, President Obama's national security adviser. A military man, Friedman believes, is the best person to explain why a carbon tax will

stimulate investments in the clean technologies that would enable the U.S. to dominate E.T. [energy technology], while also shifting consumers to buy these new, more efficient and cleaner power systems, homes and cars.

It is General Jones who

could make the case that the country with the most powerful clean-technology industry in the 21st century will have the most energy security, national security, economic security, healthy environment, innovative companies and global respect.

Alas, as geniuses like Belichick have discovered, sometimes the best team doesn't win.

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