In this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, the cover story deals with the “Greening of Geopolitics.” Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and seasoned Times columnist Thomas Friedman says that our next President will need to employ workable solutions to our global environmental crisis. And that by doing so, America can regain its international stature.
Right off the bat, he speaks to the terminology behind the “green movement.”
In the world of ideas, to name something is to own it. If you can name the issue, you can own the issue. One thing that always struck me about the term “green” was the degree to which, for so many years, it was defined by its opponents – by the people who wanted to disparage it. And they defined it as “liberal,” “tree-hugging,” “sissy,” “girlie-man”, “unpatriotic”, “vaguely French.”
Well, I want to rename “green.” I want to rename it geostrategic, geoeconomic, capitalistic, and patriotic.
I couldn’t agree more. It seems that the term “green” evokes such a knee-jerk response from certain individuals that may not see themselves as environmentalists, another term that is aligned with the left. It’s time for Americans to realize that the Earth’s health and ours, as a result, is not a Republican nor Democratic issue. It is neither a neo-con, liberal, leftist, nor radical idea. It is, in fact, a human crisis, but one that we can collectively solve.
One of the big ideas I see coming forth from inside the geostrategic movement is this: we must determine the cost of putting CO2 into our atmosphere, and then, charge companies the real cost of putting that CO2 into our atmosphere (presently, no model exists where the cost of pollution is built into the end product). By doing so, the companies producing goods sustainably will be rewarded, while the ones who are putting the most CO2 into our atmosphere, in both the production of their goods, as well as the end product, will be given incentive to reconfigure their process.
Under this system of production green goods will eventually become LESS EXPENSIVE than non-green goods. What a concept. This is the same idea that came forth when I heard Robert Kennedy, Jr. speak in Savannah.
I do believe we can act on this idea of real environmental costs. As always, it will need the support of the people. Us. You AND me. We must.