Green Room

Tom Friedman: We must respond to the Boston attacks by…passing a carbon tax

posted at 1:58 pm on April 24, 2013 by

A few days old, but worth highlighting nonetheless.  The New York Times is a cartoon:

Until we fully understand what turned two brothers who allegedly perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings into murderers, it is hard to make any policy recommendation other than this: We need to redouble our efforts to make America stronger and healthier so it remains a vibrant counterexample to whatever bigoted ideology may have gripped these young men. With all our warts, we have built a unique society — a country where a black man, whose middle name is Hussein, whose grandfather was a Muslim, can run for president and first defeat a woman in his own party and then four years later a Mormon from the opposition, and no one thinks twice about it. With so many societies around the world being torn apart, especially in the Middle East, it is vital that America survives and flourishes as a beacon of pluralism.Rebuilding our strength has to start with healing our economy. In that regard, it feels as if our budget drama has dragged on for so long that it has not only been drained of all emotional energy but nobody even remembers the plot anymore. It’s worth recalling: What are we trying to do? …

So what to do?  We need a more “radical center” — one much more willing to suggest radically new ideas to raise revenues, not the “split-the-difference-between-the-same-old-options center.” And the best place to start is with a carbon tax.

It’s pretty clear that Friedman had a carbon tax column in the pipeline, then felt compelled to shoe-horn in the Boston bombings somehow.  The result smacks of grotesque opportunism and bizarre callousness.  It’s also wildly out of touch.  And is there any justification for imposing economy-crushing carbon taxes anymore, aside from a massive revenue- and power-grab?  Climate science isn’t quite as “settled” as we’ve been led to believe; carbon emissions have climbed steadily over the past 15 years, yet temperatures have flat-lined over the same period.  Stephen Hayward notes that even The Economist is beginning to waver on climate alarmism, in light of the evidence:

The problem for the climateers is increasingly dire.  As The Economist shows in its first chart (Figure 1 here), the recent temperature record is now falling distinctly to the very low end of its predicted range and may soon fall out of it, which means the models are wrong, or, at the very least, that there’s something going on that supposedly “settled” science hasn’t been able to settle.  Equally problematic for the theory, one place where the warmth might be hiding—the oceans—is not cooperating with the story line.  Recent data show that ocean warming has noticeably slowed, too…

And then there’s this gem on greenhouse gas emissions and the Kyoto Treaty,via the Wall Street Journal:

European officials have criticized both the U.S. and China at recent United Nations climate summits for a lack of political will to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The European Union instituted regulations requiring its member states to lower emissions. The EU has also reduced its overall greenhouse-gas emissions to meet requirements of the Kyoto Protocol, a U.N. compact adopted in 2005 which the U.S. hasn’t signed. Late last year, the EU said its emissions have fallen 17.5% since 1990 and were “on track” to meet its 20% reduction target under the Kyoto agreement by 2020. Since 1990, U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions are up 8%. But since 2005, U.S. emissions have fallen faster than Europe’s.

So since we rejected Kyoto in 2005, the US has made more progress towards achieving the treaty’s goals than its preening signatories.  But by all means, let’s slap middle class families with more taxes and higher energy costs anyway.  The economy is booming, so why not conduct mandatory social engineering on the entire populace?  It’s almost as if carbon tax schemes are motivated by something other than “saving the planet,” or whatever.

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Friedman is a clown. It’s like each week he flips a coin. Side A is: “shoehorn some non-germane event into rationale for a carbon tax.” Side B is: “let’s be more like China, suspend democracy for a year so we can enact needed reforms….like a carbon tax!”

LukeinNE on April 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Vile. Tom Friedman is shamelessly using this horrific act to advance an unrelated agenda.

rbj on April 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Yeah, great idea. Let’s get more “radical” after radical leftists took over public spaces and trashed them in the Occupooper movements (pun intended), after radical pot smokers trashed the public park last week in CO, after radical terrorists detonated two bombs in the Boston marathon.
I thought lefties were so great with messaging?

smfic on April 24, 2013 at 1:37 PM

It is “populace”, not “populous”.

Yeah, I went there …

Shambhala on April 24, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Fixed. Thanks.

Guy Benson on April 24, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Friedman is obviously wrong. We need to respond by building the Keystone pipeline.

rdbrewer on April 24, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Friedman certainly is the standard-bearer for the bien pensant. However, that category of thinker might be better regarded as the merde pensant.

M240H on April 24, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Obviously those bombs made a huge contribution to globull warming…

dentarthurdent on April 24, 2013 at 2:37 PM

It would appear that Friedman actually used the Thomas Friedman Op/Ed Generator to produce this drivel.

steebo77 on April 24, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Friedman better be careful about advocating for a tax on a useless gas emitted from unproductive orifices.

Kingfisher on April 24, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Friedman must be writing his articles like Madlibs. [Insert current event of questionable relevance here]

blammm on April 24, 2013 at 3:26 PM

I think most of them (progressives) could be persuaded that minimal government serves their needs better than intrusive government.
Armin Tamzarian on April 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Whether you agree or disagree with the policy, you must understand his intention is noble.

nonpartisan on April 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM

A two-fer for stupidity.

nobar on April 24, 2013 at 3:35 PM

This is proof positive that there are no right wing terrorists. Because if there were the New York Times building would be a smoldering ruin, with great big heaps of dead assholes like Freidman and Dodd.

papertiger on April 24, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Just so i understand the logic, there’s a threat from North Korea, therefore (insert miracle link) stop curtailing women’s reproductive rights…or something

Erich66 on April 24, 2013 at 4:10 PM

What a maroon![/Buggs Bunny]

Tom should put down the crack pipe and get off the brown acid pronto.

jukin3 on April 24, 2013 at 5:02 PM

So, losing manufacturing to other countries which don’t over-regulate their businesses is making progress????

blink on April 24, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Well of course. By moving all our manufacturing to other countries, WE aren’t the ones creating pollution and causing globull weirding, or something…
Kind of sucks that our economy is down the tubes, but hey, that’s the price we have to pay for getting closer to enviro-wacko utopia.

dentarthurdent on April 24, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Friedman is a clownturd. It’s like each week he flips a coinsqueezes through a sphincter.

LukeinNE on April 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Misquoted for my own selfish enjoyment.

S. D. on April 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Carbon taxes: Is there anything they can’t do?

RadClown on April 24, 2013 at 7:10 PM

The economy is booming…

I’m sorry.
Where was I?
What did I miss?
Did I have a brief Rip Van Winkle moment or something?

Amendment X on April 24, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Hey. Let’s burn T.F. at the stake. Now thats something I would pay tax on.

rik on April 24, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Friedman’s brain would be a wonderful case study, to find where he gets his inspiration, it’s total comedy.

mixplix on April 24, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Two of Friedman’s pet peeves are approaching other like particles trapped in the Hadron Collider. He wants us to be more like China, which is now, wait for it…the world’s largest carbon “polluter”. Yep, with less than half our GDP, they send more C02 into the atmosphere than we do.

As an aside, China’s particulate pollution (which unlike C02 is actually something of a problem) is off the charts. We hardly even register on that scale. Yeah, let’s be more like China.

HTL on April 24, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Just reading the headline forced involuntary flatulence. Thanks for nothing, Friedman!

Shy Guy on April 24, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Just reading the headline forced involuntary flatulence. Thanks for nothing, Friedman!

Shy Guy on April 24, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Well I’d say your response is appropriate, but I think you’re wrong about Friedy. Looks to me like he’s given everything. His total dedication to the progressive movenment as one of it’s most elite, once more totally sacrificing anything identifiable as character or credibility.
In fact this could be some of the finest Friedman I’ve seen. Best stepped over, and remain upwind.

onomo on April 25, 2013 at 7:18 AM

Brain tumor. It’s the only thing that could explain his odd behavior.

Blake on April 25, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Friedman, the globe-trotting name-dropper extarordinaire, is so brilliant that he saw a connection that was lost on us all: how is a terrorist act related to an environmental cause? Even radical environmentalists missed the Friedman connection, but in his wisdom he managed to arrive from this mythical beginning to a conclusion that is a favorite of his sponsors and readers: raise taxes.

I expect he’s working on his new tome, “The Prius and the Pressure-Cooker”. He is such a resonating idiot that he always has an audience.

virgo on April 25, 2013 at 11:26 AM

However, Tom’s NYT “audience” is nodding in agreement.

This is how progressivism works. Plant the seed of an idea before its time – replant – replant – replant – then watch the seed start to grow.

Until conservatives figure out the simple psychology of the human brain, we are doomed. Progressives have taken that class and learned the lessons well.

Simply labeling Friedman a clown and moving on (as in this forum) is the same as watching Friedman and his ilk WIN.

Carnac on April 25, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Maybe he should point out how Obama used a smear campaign against Romney and how Romney refused to fight back. He is a nice guy who is in over his head doesn’t cut it.

alanstern on April 25, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Simply labeling Friedman a clown and moving on (as in this forum) is the same as watching Friedman and his ilk WIN.

Carnac on April 25, 2013 at 2:34 PM

OK, so what do we do?

virgo on April 26, 2013 at 2:38 AM