Thursday, November 13, 2008

A New Ambassador?

Anybody else think Thomas Friedman is on his way to becoming the face of the climate stabilization | environmental | eco | green | sustainability | cleantech movement?

He reaches a wider and more diverse audience than Al Gore. He's more recognizable than John Doerr. He has more intellectual street cred than Leonardo DiCaprio. He's older, whiter, and more male than Majora Carter. He has less personality scandal on his hands than does Bill McDonough. His mustache is more stately, more distinguished, and has a much deeper downward curve than that of Amory Lovins. My grandmother loved him so much that, when I was living in Beijing, she mailed me clippings of almost every one of his columns.

And his message today is bigger and broader and tougher and more optimistic than ever. The man seems to have found a space in which he can operate with grace and charm and credibility.

Watch him talk about his most recent book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Watch him run a panel at the last World Economic Forum. Read the Green is the New Red, White, and Blue editorial. Read this little piece, on GM and a conditional government bailout, from yesterday's New York Times.

Who knows. Maybe the movement needs no big fancy face. Or maybe, if it does, it needs one that glows more radically than that of a Middle East peace process journalist. Majora or Doerr or Adam Werbach or Ray Anderson or Van Jones or Michael Pollan.

Anyway, just a thought.

Or a prediction.

Yeah, let's make it a prediction. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. If I'm right, I'm psychic.

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