Tom Friedman on the "Green Energy" Communication Challenge

Appearing on NPR's Fresh Air to discuss his new book "Hot, Flat, and Crowded," Friedman was asked by host Terry Gross whether or not the term "green energy" might be implicitly off-putting to many Americans. As Gross put it to Friedman "How do you shatter the boring, 'granola' image of the green energy industry?"

Here's what Friedman said (full transcript of interview):

That's what the book is about. The problem is the term "green" was really owned by its opponents. To name something is to own it. The people who named it "green" named it a "liberal, tree-hugging, girlie-man, sissy, unpatriotic, vaguely French!

What I'm out to do in this book is to rename green. Geo-political. Geo-strategic. Geo-economic. Innovative. Competitive. Patriotic. "Green" is the new red, white and blue. Because this is all of those things. To conservatives, I say, "Look, this book is a plan to make America stronger, more energy and nationally secure, more competitive and entrepreneurial, more economically healthy and more respected in the world. (Oh, and by the way, all that stuff Al Gore talks about? We'll take care of that as a by-product!) To liberals and "greens" I say it's a plan to make America greener. (Oh, and by the way, all that stuff Dick Cheney talks about? We'll take care of that as a by-product.)

I'm doing it because I honestly believe this is an issue joining both of those things. It not only does it intellectually, but it must. Because if you don't -- if "green" is owned as a kind of Birkenstock-wearing hippie wine-and-cheese-eating issue and isn't seen as an issue about national security and growth and making American stronger, healthier, more competitive ... then we'll never have scale. Until you have scale on this issue, you really have nothing.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less