Friedman's Climate Change Is The Stuff Of Miracles

(about Tom Friedman’s “Going Cheney on Climate“, IHT print edition, Dec 10, 2009)

From: Maurizio Morabito
To: Letters IHT

Dear Editors

In a slightly unsettling if not miraculous development on his way to fight climate change, Tom Friedman tells us today that Dick Cheney’s “instinct” (treating any “low-probability, high-impact event” as a certainty) “is precisely the right framework with which to think about the climate issue“.

As Mr Friedman rightly points out, Cheney’s strategy concerns “the same ‘precautionary principle’ that also animated environmentalists“. Unfortunately, previous performances bodes badly for the attitude that has brought upon us the Iraq invasion disaster.

It is a fact that everybody wants a green economy with clean air and non-polluting energy for all. Greenhood has become the new “motherhood and apple pie” of politics. It is also a fact that a shared goal doesn’t mean a shared idea on how to reach it. Each one of the various ways to address the risk of catastrophical global warming has its own inherent costs and risks. It is not just about declaring the will to buy insurance “aggressively“: one has to go out and choose which insurance to buy, weighing the various pros and cons.

For example, steel giant Mittal has been recently reported as benefiting around £1,000,000,000 ($1.6 billions) from the European emission trading scheme (cap-and-trade) If Mr Friedman wants to be serious about preparing for climate change, that’s what he should be discussing about.