05 May 2011

Video: Thomas Friedman 'Democracy and Energy - The View from Tahrir Square' (Stanford University May 4 2011)

Thomas Friedman
By Mary Vincent - Follow on Twitter @MaryVincent
Thomas Friedman, the three-time Pulitzer Prize Winner and foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times spoke at Stanford University May 4, 2011 on the topic Democracy and Energy: The View from Tahrir Square.

The video is below, along with one Q&A question posed by Larry Diamond, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and director of Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.

Here's the Synopsis: Thomas Friedman discusses the US's historical political and oil relationship with the Middle East, the Egyptian Revolution, bottom-up leadership, climate change, more food crops destroyed by climate change in 2010 than any other time in history, higher food prices, need for price stability for VC investment, and actions the US should take.

Post Video: Friedman then discussed how the Chamber of Commerce needs to agree on an Energy Policy, his disappointment with Obama on not fighting harder for a real Climate Policy and the need for Carbon Credits. Friedman actually used the word 'Pathetic' in describing Obama's climate performance. He said the US government needs to put policies and levers in place to promote the right societal and investment changes. He says we're taunting Mother Nature, and the Earth is our only home.

Friedman also agreed we are in a digital revolution, and Twitter and Facebook are very important in politics these days especially with its strong influence on the Egyptian Revolution, however, he points out that Governments are still 'analog'.  Friedman said it took people to stand in Tahrir Square and say, "We're not leaving".
Please let me know your thoughts on the video and any other comments you'd like to share.

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2
Friedman notes in his conclusion (my video storage was up) that we're already paying the Oil Cartels a Tax which is building their infrastructure, supporting their education etc. The US should not be paying an oil tax to someone else but instead use the money to support investments in our own infrastructure and economy. The Stanford audience then erupted into loud applause.