Friedman goes green

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For someone who supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and is generally regarded as an apologist for globalisation and laissez-faire capitalism, it was with dropped jaw that I read Thomas L. Friedman‘s op-ed, Geo-Greening by Example, in the New York Times last week where he not only criticises Bush’s energy policy, but also advocates the kind of greeny-left interventionist policies that are trotted out on this blog from time to time. “We need a gasoline tax that would keep pump prices fixed at $4 a gallon, even if crude oil prices go down” says Friedman, “At $4 a gallon (premium gasoline averages about $6 a gallon in Europe), we could change the car-buying habits of a large segment of the U.S. public, which would make it profitable for the car companies to convert more of their fleets to hybrid or ethanol engines, which over time could sharply reduce our oil consumption.” I lost interest when I read the next paragraph in the article where there is a suggestion that it would be a good idea to start building nuclear power plants again, on the grounds “The risks of climate change by continuing to rely on hydrocarbons are much greater than the risks of nuclear power”, but the piece is a jolly good read all the same.