Lifestyles of the rich and environmentalist: Thomas Friedman

“I’ll start acting as if it’s a crisis when the people who are telling me it’s a crisis start acting as if it’s a crisis.”
Glenn Reynolds

That’s Thomas Friedman’s house, via Planet Gore. Thomas Friedman is a New York Times columnist and the author of Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America. From the Salon book plug interview:

What’s going to make Americans change their energy-consuming behavior? Well, I’ll give you a really lame answer. According to some reviews of the book, this answer’s just not adequate! I say, I’m sorry it’s not adequate, it’s the only answer: It’s leadership. You must have a leader who can frame this problem in an exciting way — not just the answer to these big five problems, but this incredible opportunity. It’s why I say, “Change your leaders, not your light bulbs.” Not that changing your light bulbs isn’t important. We’ve done it. Everyone should do it.

Well, I’m glad they’ve changed their light bulbs. Must have taken weeks. And this:

Yes, “Americans” are popping up all over now — people who once lived low-energy lifestyles but by dint of oil wealth or hard work are now moving into U.S.-style apartments, cars and appliances.

Our planet cannot tolerate so many “Americans,” unless we take the lead and change what it means to be an American in energy terms. Attention Kmart shoppers: the world consumed about 66.6 million barrels a day of oil in 1990. We’re now consuming 83 million barrels a day.

If you think it’s scary to think of “Americans” popping up all over, you must think it’s really scary to think of “Thomas Friedmans” popping up all over.

Previous global warming hypocrites and their giant houses, houseboats, and SUVs:

“Hypocrisy is not merely aiming for perfection and failing at it, for we are all sinners, and we all fail. Instead, hypocrisy is not aiming for perfection at all, and lying about it.”

13 Responses to Lifestyles of the rich and environmentalist: Thomas Friedman

  1. Steve K. says:

    Thomas Jefferson didn’t free his slaves, so slavery’s ok. <– Spot the fallacy in argumentation.

  2. Les Jones says:

    No, slavery isn’t OK, but Jefferson was a hypocrite. Just as Friedman and all the rest are hypocrites.

    They’re expecting people of much lesser means and much lesser consumption to reduce our consumption. Meanwhile they’re not even willing to reduce their consumption to your level or mine. Yet they’re the ones giving the lectures and expecting you and me to listen to them.

    No thanks. I’ll sit out those lectures. I won’t be buying their books, either.

  3. Steve K. says:

    Being a hypocrite doesn’t invalidate his argument. Likewise, if Al Gore ate one grain of rice a day and travelled to lectures by astral projection, that wouldn’t support his arguments, either.

  4. Les Jones says:

    It doesn’t necessarily invalidate Gore’s argument that there is a problem, but if he can’t live the life he advocates – a life that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, then it invalidates his contention that we can meet that goal. If he can’t walk the walk why is he talking the talk?

    In general, most of the people who consider themselves environmentalists are living lives that aren’t very different than mine. They have houses with electricity, heat and cooling. Most of them drive cars. They consume things they’ve bought in a store. They’ve replaced some of their light bulbs with CFLs, but so have I. If all it takes to be an environmentalist is to talk the talk and maybe recycle your aluminum cans and have a compost pile, well, it isn’t a very impressive movement. What it is is mostly hot air.

  5. mark says:

    we sure that’s Friedman’s house? How’s a NY Times columnist get that kind of bones to buy that?

  6. Les Jones says:

    Mark, it’s his house. His Wikipedia entry mentions the house and explains his wealth. He didn’t make his money writing for the NYT, he made it by marrying it. His wife’s family is worth billions.

  7. Linoge says:

    Invalidating or validating arguments is not the point.

    Practicing what you preach is.

    If some of the prime spokespersons for a movement cannot be bothered to even look like they are abiding by the tenets of the movement… well, that says something about the movement in question. Hell, people in Gore’s and Friedman’s positions have no excuse for not living up to their own words, given that one of the prime limiting factors of doing so boils down to money – being green is expensive, but these paid mouths can afford it.

    Speaking of, it must be nice… I am totally digging that courtyard thing he has going, though where are his garages?
    [rq=189750,0,blog][/rq]i promised you pictures

  8. Alcibiades says:

    Thomas Jefferson frequently had money problems. Leonardo Decaprio does not.

    (Not to mention that the land was his source of income, not a mere ostentatious display.)

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  10. Rustmeister says:

    To his credit, it does appear he’s conserving by not watering his grass….
    [rq=195702,0,blog][/rq]A Poll

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  12. Harry Bergeron says:

    Jefferson did free his slaves; upon his death his widow inherited and freed them, per his wishes.

    Will Tom’s house be bulldozed on his wife’s demise?

  13. Propertius says:

    It would have been impossible for “Jefferson’s widow” to have done this, since he never remarried after the death of his wife in 1782. He emancipated two slaves during his lifetime, and five more upon his death. Four of these seven slaves were children of Sally Hemings. The other ~130 slaves at Monticello were auctioned after Jefferson’s death by his estate to help pay his debts.