Tom Friedman, despite a healthy baseline intelligence, is able to convince himself of some wacky things, e.g. the time he wrote that the war in Iraq would go down as one of the noblest foreign-policy undertakings in U.S. history. (Ah, so close! Perhaps if you had said "most ignominious.")
While I’m convinced that our current financial crisis is the product of both The Market and Mother Nature hitting the wall at once — telling us we need to grow in more sustainable ways — some might ask this: We know when the market hits a wall. It shows up in red numbers on the Dow. But Mother Nature doesn’t have a Dow. What makes you think she’s hitting a wall, too? And even if she is: Who cares? When my 401(k) is collapsing, it’s hard to worry about my sea level rising.
Friedman can squeeze his eyes shut and massage his temples all he wants, but the economic crisis has nothing to do with Mother Nature hitting the wall. While I agree that the planet is reaching a critical point and we need to take bold action to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, there is no need to peer into the environmental arena for clues to the cause of the global financial meltdown. All the evidence is right there in front of us. Oh, and by the way, thanks Joe Cassano! You're a good guy.
I do appreciate Friedman's recent focus on green energy and climate change. If his influence is as great as it's said to be, he may push Congress and the Obama administration to come up with ambitious clean-energy legislation. Perhaps it's his way of atoning for his high-profile support of the Iraq war, sort of akin to how "24," which helped Americans discover their love of torture, is now having Kiefer Sutherland and other actors read brief climate-change bromides during commercial breaks.