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I know that Thomas Friedman is not popular in many quarters. As an early cheerleader for the invasion and “democratization” of Iraq he heaped infamy on his cheerleading for the wonders of globalization. He has, however, been exemplary in his warnings about climate change and the need to do something pretty damned quick. In the belief that we all have friends who we trust to fix our cars but won’t let in the kitchen I say to Friedman, about his greenery, talk on.

In this election cycle, we need to hold a “Green Debate,” devoted only to energy and environmental questions. I would suggest Tulane University in New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2007 — the second anniversary of Katrina. That would give the candidates, Republicans and Democrats, all summer to develop positions and it would give the voters all fall to examine them before the big primaries in February 2008.

I would like to see each party’s candidates questioned separately, so Republican voters and Democrats can each focus on their primary candidates. The questioning should be done by a three-person panel consisting of one climate scientist, one energy investor and one college student, since young people will be the ones most affected by global warming.

We can’t let ethanol-promoting farmers in Iowa determine our energy policy anymore by virtue of the early Iowa primary. For too long, all we’ve had in this country is energy politics, not energy policy, and that is why we have this incoherent mess of energy systems, standards and fuels.


NYTimes Select: Friedman

Heck, with all of Friedman’s friends in high-places he might actually help out here….