So Thomas Friedman’s long New York Times Magazine essay today hits on his newest metaphor for changing the world: “Green is the new red, white and blue.” After spending the last week or so helping my most excellent wife Wendy write an Earth Day “sermon” she’s delivering to our eclectic little UU fellowship today, I hope he’s right. By the way, stay tuned in the next couple of days for a Fisch-esque video on the environment that she created. YouTube, here we come. But I digress…
No doubt, Friedman uses the environmental angle to hammer home the idea that the world is still flat and getting flatter…and warmer. And he frames the three major issues facing us today as “jobs, temperature and terrorism,” all of which he says can be dealt with in the context of green geopolitics:
How do our kids compete in a flatter world? How do they thrive in a warmer world? How do they survive in a more dangerous world? Those are, in a nutshell, the big questions facing America at the dawn of the 21st century. But these problems are so large in scale that they can only be effectively addressed by an America with 50 green states â€” not an America divided between red and blue states.
Friedman’s self-important tone does get a bit tiresome, but there is still a lot to take away from the piece. It’s a pretty compelling reminder of just how much of all of this, the environment, education…all of it is driven by money and greed. And, this is a moment of serious challenge to our traditional ways of thinking about consumption and our use of the planet’s natural resources, just like it’s a moment of serious challenge to our traditional ways of education.