In today's New York Times, Tom Friedman's column is right on the money in identifying the shortcomings of our current national energy policies. Some choice excerpts:
What's so disturbing about President Bush and Dick Cheney is that they talk tough about the necessity of invading Iraq, torturing terror suspects and engaging in domestic spying--all to defend our way of life and promote democracy around the globe.
But when it comes to what is actually the most important issue in U.S. foreign and domestic policy today--making ourselves energy efficient and independent, and environmentally green--they ridicule it as something only liberals, tree-huggers and sissies believe is possible or necessary.
Sorry, but being green, focusing the nation on greater energy efficiency and conservation, is not some girlie-man issue. It is actually the most tough-minded, geostrategic, pro-growth and patriotic thing we can do. Living green is not for sissies. Sticking with oil, and basically saying that a country that can double the speed of microchips every 18 months is somehow incapable of innovating its way to energy independence--that is for sissies, defeatists and people who are ready to see American values eroded at home and abroad.
Living green is not just a "personal virtue," as Mr. Cheney says. It's a national security imperative.
We need a president and a Congress with the guts not just to invade Iraq, but to also impose a gasoline tax and inspire conservation at home. That takes a real energy policy with long-term incentives for renewable energy--wind, solar, biofuels--rather than the welfare-for-oil-companies-and-special-interests that masqueraded last year as an energy bill.
Enough of this Bush-Cheney nonsense that conservation, energy efficiency and environmentalism are some hobby we can't afford. I can't think of anything more cowardly or un-American. Real patriots, real advocates of spreading democracy around the world, live green.