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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A cyberspace debate on Friedman

Okay, so "debate" might be streching it a bit, but this guy did link to my commentary on Friedman's most recent geo-green post. His assessment is rather different from mine (quote: "Thomas Friedman is a jackass"). He takes issue with Friedman's supposed obsession with the Toyota Prius.

I feel like he missed the point. Energy independence isn't as difficult as it's made out to be and a number of very accessible technologies can make it happen. Friedman is arguing that we shouldn't be talking about nuclear plants, oil exploration or wars in the Middle East and should instead invest in conservation. You don't have to drive a Prius. You can drive a go kart or a Ford Expedition for all I care, just stick a hybrid, flexible fuel engine in there so you can get 300 miles to the gallon. Or have the government kick in the money, because the money we spend there will prevent us from having to spend money here.

1 comment:

Tom Watcher said...

Actually, I agree with most of your comments, both in the above post and in your original post. I think energy independence would be a good thing and I think it would be easier and cheaper to achieve than most people think. (That might not be apparent in a blog that is mostly dedicated to taking cheap shots at Thomas Friedman.)

That being said, I just take issue with the broader idea that somehow energy independence is going to be the magic bullet that solves U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

The U.S. receives less than half of its oil imports from OPEC nations, and imports almost as much oil from Canada as it does from Saudi Arabia.

And the U.S. has other reasons to be in the Middle East other than oil, including the Israel-Palestinian dispute and weapons of mass destruction (in Iran, that is).

You're right that the war in Iraq has been costly, but I don't think energy independence would have stopped the Bush Administration from going to war with Iraq. The war was as much about imagined WMD, terrorism, and vague notions of spreading democracy as it was about oil.

All that being said, I think I still might buy a Prius. That voice-command option is just way too cool.