Thursday, March 31, 2005

Or is China Coming After Us?

There, I fell for it again. The chance to take one more easy shot on the circus of the month rather than write about a denser but more important subject. I hope you're satisfied...

David Morris also recently referred to Nixon's China trip, but in a more sobering context, global oil policy, noting that Canada (our largest oil supplier) and Venezuela (number four) have signed deals with China.

Earlier this week, Thomas Friedman wrote about a "'geo-green strategy' that would marry geopolitics, energy policy and environmentalism." He points out that refusing to make meaningful reductions in energy consumption locks America into betting on a dangerous trifecta. One, that we can continue propping up distasteful regimes while also financing terrorists with our oil habit. Two, that we can somehow out-maneuver the world's most populous and fastest growing economy in the competition for global oil stocks. And three, that the air will still be clean enough to breathe on that retirement ranch up in the mountains, above the flooded coastline.

Once all of China's new coal-fired power plants kick in along with the cars that will inevitably follow the jobs to India and China, there won't be enough breathing tubes to go around, so why are we worried about Social Security?

But seriously folks, Friedman suggests shaping national policy position around addressing climate change, creating new jobs and revenue sources, and defusing international conflicts — all in the name of caring for God's green earth.

And why shouldn't the Democrats take it on as a defining issue? At least it would be coherent, and we could count on the far right not to coopt it. You saw in the last election — and especially the presidential "debates" — how far the party will get with its current strategy of failing to differentiate itself from the Republicans on the big stuff, and then getting sucker-punched on all the little stuff.

I think I'm starting to see a new positioning: Green without the Greens.

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