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jerryking : petro-dictators   3

Opinion | Is Putin a C.I.A. Agent?
April 3, 2018 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.

if I were a Russian citizen, I’d be asking this question: Is Putin a U.S. agent?

Why? Because Putin has undertaken so many actions in recent years that contributed to the weakening of Russia’s economy and human capital base that you have to wonder whether he’s secretly on the C.I.A.’s payroll.

Beginning around 2007-08, Putin appears to have decided that rebuilding Russia by nurturing its tremendous human talent and strengthening the rule of law was just too hard — it would have required sharing power, holding real, competitive elections and building a truly diverse, innovation-based economy.

Instead, Putin decided to look for dignity for Russia in all the wrong the places: by tapping his oil and gas wells, not his people; by strengthening the Russian military, instead of the rule of law; and by enriching himself and his circle of oligarchs while wrapping himself in a cloak of Russian Orthodoxy and Russian nationalism that appealed to his base.....Putin consistently acts like a farmer who sells his most valuable beef in return for cubes of sugar. That is, he looks for short-term sugar highs to boost his popularity with his Russian nationalist base, because he is insecure, and pays for it by giving up real beef, leaving Russia weaker in the long term.

Beef for sugar — not a good trade....Putin’s long-range strategy — to bet against Mother Nature, human nature and Moore’s Law, all at once. He’s betting against Mother Nature — that the world will indefinitely remain addicted to his oil and gas in an age of disruptive climate change. He’s betting against human nature — that his young people won’t want to be free to realize their full potential, not just live off sugar-high memories of historical greatness. And he’s betting against Moore’s Law — that the steady growth of technology won’t empower Russia’s youth to connect and collaborate, and see through his charade.
Vladimir_Putin  Russia  Tom_Friedman  petro-dictators  petro-politics 
april 2018 by jerryking
No to Keystone. Yes to Crazy. - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: March 9, 2013

If Keystone gets approved, environmentalists should have a long shopping list ready, starting with a price signal that discourages the use of carbon-intensive fuels in favor of low-carbon energy. Nothing would do more to clean our air, drive clean-tech innovation, weaken petro-dictators and reduce the deficit than a carbon tax.... Finally, the president could make up for Keystone by introducing into the public discourse the concept of “natural infrastructure,” argues Mark Tercek, the president and chief executive of The Nature Conservancy, and the co-author of “Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature.”

“Forests, wetlands and other ecosystems are nature’s infrastructure for controlling floods, supplying water, and doing other things we need to adapt to climate change.
Tom_Friedman  climate_change  books  nature  hydraulic_fracturing  petro-dictators  petro-politics  natural_gas  Keystone_XL  pricing  carbon_tax  public_discourse  natural_infrastructure 
march 2013 by jerryking
The U.S.S. Prius - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: December 18, 2010
Spearheaded by Ray Mabus, President Obama’s secretary of the Navy and
the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the Navy and Marines are
building a strategy for “out-greening” Al Qaeda, “out-greening” the
Taliban and “out-greening” the world’s petro-dictators. ...If the Navy
really uses its buying power when buying power, and setting building
efficiency standards, it alone could expand the green energy market in a
decisive way.

And, if Congress will simply refrain from forcing the Navy to use corn
ethanol or liquid coal — neither of which are clean or efficient, but
are located in many Congressional districts — we might really get a
green revolution in the military. That could save lives, money and the
planet, and might even help us win — or avoid — the next war. Go Navy!
buying_power  green  U.S._Navy  USMC  Tom_Friedman  petro-dictators  petro-politics 
december 2010 by jerryking

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