Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thomas Friedman and the Earth Race - How to Combat Climate Change and Use the Market to Build a New Energy Future

For those who know of Thomas L. Friedman, they know that he is an award winning writer and journalist, and also someone who knows more about the world than most folks. His best-selling book The World is Flat is just one of several books in which he shows his keen insight into the future.

Friedman now offers his thoughts following the recently completed United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. While he says that the "Earth Day" approach accomplished some goals, we need to shift more into what he calls and "Earth Race" approach.

The Earth Race

He suggests:

Therefore, the goal of Earth Racers is to focus on getting the U.S. Senate to pass an energy bill, with a long-term price on carbon that will really stimulate America to become the world leader in clean-tech. If we lead by example, more people will follow us by emulation than by compulsion of some U.N. treaty.

He says that:

In the cold war, we had the space race: who could be the first to put a man on the moon. Only two countries competed, and there could be only one winner. Today, we need the Earth Race: who can be the first to invent the most clean technologies so men and women can live safely here on Earth. [my emphasis added]

He suggests that what President Obama should have done in Copenhagen is to:

"...look China’s prime minister in the eye and say: “I am going to get our Senate to pass an energy bill with a price on carbon so we can clean your clock in clean-tech. This is my moon shot. Game on.”

An interesting concept. The US should unilaterally say, hey, we're going to beat your pants off in this Earth Race, coming up with new energy technologies that leave you (China) in the dust, and you (OPEC oil barons) wondering what you're going to do with your oil, and you (Russia) doing whatever it is that you are doing today, begging us to share the new technology with you. Which we will do....for a price.

So, anyone think this will work?

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