Who’s Green Now?


Detroit – News anchors at Detroit’s NBC-affiliate Channel 4 cheered the news Monday that the average price of regular gas has dipped below $2.50 a gallon — even slipping below $2 in neighboring Ohio. Detroit’s local newspapers and radio stations closely track the declining price of gas, alerting readers where the best deals are to be had.

Whatever happened to the Green Media? The appeals to sacrifice? The special features on what each of us can do to save the planet? Interesting how soaring gas prices and shrinking incomes concentrate the mind on what really matters. The Green Left has decried the plunge in gas prices, but, significantly, the greenest presidential candidates in U.S. history have been mum.

America, the environmental movement told us, had turned green. But the public reaction to higher gas prices is stark proof that “green” is more a pose than a lifestyle.

Credit New York Times columnist – and green war hero – Thomas Friedman for trying to motivate the retreating armies.

“The moment,” laments Friedman, “feels to me like a bad B-movie rerun of the 1980s. And I know how this movie ends – with our re-addiction to oil and OPEC, as well as corrosive uncertainty for our economy, trade balance, security and environment.”

Morning in America, low inflation, galloping growth. Oh, the horror.

“It is impossible for me to ignore the fact that when gasoline hit $4.11 a gallon we changed,” he continues, like an aging boomer waxing nostalgic for Woodstock. “But with lower oil prices making it harder for existing renewables like wind and solar to scale, and a weak economy making it nearly impossible for Congress to pass a carbon tax or gasoline tax that would make clean energy more competitive, what will become of our budding clean-tech revolution?”

Long an advocate for enacting taxes to keep the price of gas above $4 a gallon, Friedman is discovering the utter unreality of that dream as not even the uber-green Obama-Biden ticket will stand with him.

With the release of his green call to arms, Hot, Flat and Crowded, Friedman organized a national book tour on the nobility of $4 a gallon gas. It must be a very lonely tour indeed.


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