Posted on December 11, 2008 by jeremy
Image source: greenerist.com
There is a brilliant piece by Thomas Friedman in the IHT today on the US auto bail-out and what Joseph Schumpeter once referred to as the process of creative destruction. He writes about the Better Place electric car charging system and how this is set to replace the petroleum-based model. The best paragraph is reproduced below:
America’s bailout of Detroit will be remembered as the equivalent of pouring billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the mail-order-catalogue business on the eve of the birth of eBay. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into the CD music business on the eve of the birth of the iPod and iTunes. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into a book-store chain on the eve of the birth of Amazon.com and the Kindle. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into improving typewriters on the eve of the birth of the PC and the Internet.
The bail-out has to proceed for the sake of the people who would otherwise lose there jobs, and the knock-on effect this would have on the rest of the economy. However, it would be a lot smarter if financial assistance were tied to the development of Car 2.0. This way, people would not only keep their jobs now, but they would be safe in the future as well.
Filed under: Energy | Tagged: cars, Friedman, recession | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 10, 2005 by jeremy
Image source: http://www.olin.wustl.edu
For someone who supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and is generally regarded as an apologist for globalisation and laissez-faire capitalism, it was with dropped jaw that I read Thomas L. Friedman‘s op-ed, Geo-Greening by Example, in the New York Times last week where he not only criticises Bush’s energy policy, but also advocates the kind of greeny-left interventionist policies that are trotted out on this blog from time to time. “We need a gasoline tax that would keep pump prices fixed at $4 a gallon, even if crude oil prices go down” says Friedman, “At $4 a gallon (premium gasoline averages about $6 a gallon in Europe), we could change the car-buying habits of a large segment of the U.S. public, which would make it profitable for the car companies to convert more of their fleets to hybrid or ethanol engines, which over time could sharply reduce our oil consumption.” I lost interest when I read the next paragraph in the article where there is a suggestion that it would be a good idea to start building nuclear power plants again, on the grounds “The risks of climate change by continuing to rely on hydrocarbons are much greater than the risks of nuclear power”, but the piece is a jolly good read all the same.
Filed under: Bush, Energy | Tagged: cars, Friedman | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 1, 2003 by jeremy
Tim Dunlop commented yesterday on the growing unrest in Pommieland about the phantom WMD. As I observed last month, Thomas Friedman is more than happy to lend his support to the ‘so-what-Saddam-was-a-bad-guy-anyway’ camp. Somehow, I don’t think the British media will acquiesce quite so readily. This shouldn’t worry Blair though because, according to today’s Observer, he has secret proof of weapons. Watch this space.
Filed under: UK politics | Tagged: Blair, Friedman, Iraq, WMD | Leave a Comment »