At a Grist gathering in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, we were pleased to host New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for a chat on the state of green. Our intrepid video expert was on hand to tape the event.
Friedman released Hot, Flat, and Crowded way back in October 2008 — before the worst of the economic crash, before Obama, before the GM bankruptcy, before Waxman-Markey … Lord it’s been a long year! He’s been updating the book for a paperback release in November, so I kicked things off by asking him how his thinking has evolved and how he’s framing the book’s update. Here’s what he had to say:
Next, I asked him about globalization. He’s known as a leading proponent of neoliberal trade policies that open global trade, capital, and resource flows, but many enviros these days wonder whether that go-go economic acceleration has contributed to our current environmental woes. Folks like Bill McKibben are questioning whether increased material wealth is making us happier or healthier any more.
Here’s Friedman’s response:
I want to thank Friedman again for taking the time to visit with us and for his always interesting and provocative thoughts on the issues at hand. As he said, he and Grist have a “spirited friendship,” and all of us here look forward to continuing the dialogue.