Green is the new red, white & blue

Okay. Sign me up. I am hopeful that what Thomas Friedman paints as a possibility can become a reality.

Says Friedman:

“One thing that always struck me about the term “green” was the degree to which, for so many years, it was defined by its opponents — by the people who wanted to disparage it. And they defined it as “liberal,” “tree-hugging,” “sissy,” “girlie-man,” “unpatriotic,” “vaguely French. Well, I want to rename “green.” I want to rename it geostrategic, geoeconomic, capitalistic and patriotic. I want to do that because I think that living, working, designing, manufacturing and projecting America in a green way can be the basis of a new unifying political movement for the 21st century. A redefined, broader and more muscular green ideology is not meant to trump the traditional Republican and Democratic agendas but rather to bridge them when it comes to addressing the three major issues facing every American today: jobs, temperature and terrorism.”

For reasons that have to do with personal convictions related to conservation, preservation and a deep love of nature, as well as my decades-long concern (to put it mildly) for my personal and our collective dependence on oil companies and the suppliers of their product, I have found myself becoming more and more radicalized in my desire to do whatever I can do to lessen my personal consumption of oil. I think our lawmakers should view our dependency on oil as a threat equal to any other threat we face as a nation. And I don’t care if the oil comes from the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska — as long as we’re dependent on oil as our major source of energy, that dependence is a threat to our country strategically and economically. I’m even opposed to programs that turn shale or coal into oil as those efforts compete with efforts to find alternatives to oil. I don’t believe our problem is merely dependence on supplies of oil — I believe our problem is dependence on oil, no matter what its source. I think federal and state lawmakers should enact aggressive (even war-time-like) measures that encourage the development and acceptance of sustainable, renewable and clean energy sources other than oil.

So, I’m with Friedman on this: Being green is geostrategic, geoeconomic, capitalistic, patriotic. And even if it’s better for the environment and will help address global warming, there is nothing “vaguely French” about it.

[Note: Also, be sure to the watch the video on the making of the origami flag that appears on the cover of the New York Times Sunday magazine.]

  • Cool. In complete agreement there. I’ve been thinking about this subject more and more, but haven’t blogged about it. Maybe I’ll join you 🙂

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  • Hi Rex,

    I think there is a misconception about the realities behind the use of fossil fuels that need to be cleared up before we start making unrealistic propositions about energy usage. First off- there are only two realistic replacements to fossil fuels when it comes to turning fuel/energy in to electricity and that is Hydro and Nuclear. Hydro has been maxed out in the US and currently supplies around 6-7%. Nuclear currently supplies around 20%. Every other alternative source is not currently anywhere close to replacing either of the three sources noted above. The other alternative sources (wind, solar, etc.) are simply incapable of coming anywhere close to even making a dent. All of the alternative sources combined only made up 2% of our total production.
    (source : )

    I am not saying this to discourage the idea of replacing fossil fuels, on the contrary- I would like to see this happen. But the problem is that we have the answer today -nuclear power- and the majority of the groups that oppose fossil fuels oppose nuclear fuel as well. I don’t believe we need to cripple our nation economically so that we stop using oil, we just need to allow nuclear power to start up again in the states.

    If you haven’t, I HIGHLY suggest reading Stephen Den Bestes “A New Manhattan Project” essays about alternative energy and the issues surrounding them. It does a great job of examining the numbers and realities behind the idea of oil, alternative energy and the like.

  • Sorry, the link for the Stephen Den Beste essay is bad- here is the good one. Again, I cannot recommend this essay enough.

  • Rex Hammock

    I know my first comments were unrealistic. However, I’ve observed that as long as there are “alternative” sources for oil, we’ll do everything to put off finding an alternative. I agree with you on nuclear. We must get more “vaguely French” about nuclear — as in, a much higher percentage of energy in France is generated by nuclear. Obviously, I don’t think we should cripple our economy — however, our dependence on the current sources of oil means we are funding other potential threats to our economy. Those threats concern me greatly in my new role as a “geo-green.” I look forward to reading the essay.

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