One of the interesting subplots to the global-warming horror film is watching best-selling New York Times writer Thomas Friedman’s transform from free-market democrat (“The World is Flat”) to dictatorial carbon statist (his current columns).
The change is driven by Friedman’s embrace of Green religion.
The new Tom is in full cry in Sunday’s Times column, “The Green Road Less Traveled.” Once a cheerleader for America’s genius for finding the most efficient path to serve the consumer market, Friedman now regularly condemns a wasteful U.S. and embraces state-driven economies in Europe and elsewhere.
“Imagine a day when you will go online and buy a pass to drive into any major urban area and the price of your pass will be set by whether you are driving a hybrid or a Hummer (guess which one Friedman drives?), the time of day you want to drive, and how much carbon your car trip will emit.”(the old “Flat Earth” Friedman might have understood such urban penalties would only encourage more suburban “sprawl.” But anyway . . . .)
Why stop there? Why not a tax on suburban homes like Friedman’s dwelling in swish Bethesda outside Washington, D.C.? Or his jet travel to give speeches? (Of course, it wasn’t long ago – when the Democratic party was more blue-collar than green – that Friedman’s allies wanted to tax his Toyota because it was an import.)
How to enforce this carbon morality? Big Brother must have cameras, of course. “Cameras, software, and algorithms that can read auto license plates as they flash by,” cheers the Times columnist. Perhaps realizing this jarring contradiction for a civil libertarian like himself, Friedman is quick to assure that “the data is regularly destroyed to protect privacy.”
Friedman dreams on to imagine a world in which governments make “green” markets, everyone has a green job, and we all live in a new utopia.
And green is the new red.