Friday, April 24, 2009

Tom Friedman says something that isn't annoying

In previous years, I've rarely liked Tom Friedman's writing. He was a powerful, allegedly independent voice for going into Iraq and then staying there for a very long time. Even when I agree with him, as with his environmental crusade, his patronizing tone just bugs me, as does his air of delivering profound wisdom when what's said is simplistic is even more irritating. Friedman's latest attempt to think outside the box by opposing cap-and-trade legislation reinforces all this.

But, I have to admit that sometimes it works. One of his patented simple explanations finally worked for me on NPR's Talk of the Nation. He doubted that we are truly witnessing a green revolution yet, asking something like "Have you ever seen a revolution where nobody gets hurt?" (Sorry, can't find a link, but he seems to say it a lot.) This makes sense to me on a level I can't actually justify - the economists seem to think fixing climate change won't be that expensive. I just have a feeling that it won't be that cheap, and some financial hurt at least is inevitable. Score one for Friedman in having crystallized that idea.

UPDATE:  edited tone, and softened as I've decided his attempts to describe things in different ways from how everyone else does it may have some use, especially for people who aren't following issues in detail.

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