Focusing the nation on energy efficiencyon being greenis the most geostrategic, patriotic thing we can do. It is a national-security imperative. The biggest threat to America and its values today is "petrolism," my term for the corrupting, antidemocratic governing practicesin oil states from Russia to Nigeria and Iranthat result from a long run of $60-a-barrel oil. Our energy gluttony strengthens and fosters these regimes. We cannot dry up the swamps of authoritarianism and violent Islamism in the Mideast without drying up our consumption of oil, thereby bringing down the price of crude. A democratization policy in the Mideast without a different energy policy at home is a waste of time, money, and young lives. We must impose a gasoline tax and inspire conservation. We need long-term incentives for renewable energy. Real patriotsreal advocates of spreading democracy around the worldlive green. Green is the new red, white, and blue.
Thomas L. Friedman [1/6/06]