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June 30, 2006

Comments

Ted Barlow

Most are public companies, sensitive to any article or blog or e-mail campaign that might accuse them of despoiling the environment — and thereby trigger backlashes by shareholders or consumers, who expect a high level of green behavior.

Um... what? Since when? How does this sensitivity manifest itself, outside of a handful of "we care about the environment" ads in BusinessWeek and Sunday morning talk shows?

Tom Maguire

Um... what? Since when?

Hey, I read it in the Times so it must be true!

And I did flash back to their recent articles about FreePort McMoran in, hmm, New Guinea? Indonesia? (Not much of a flashback).

If I had any interest at all in defnding Friedman, I would argue that there is more pressure on US companies, and that consequently they are less awful than Chinese ones. Pretty powerful, huh?

Ted Barlow

Fair enough.

Carol Herman

Chinese companies are not "lawful." Nor will they ever be. Plus, there are a billion chinese. And, their growth is a greater polluter than anything we do.

On the other hand, the Pacific is huge. Perhaps, it's more of a protector than we realize? So many lies abound about this earth. And, Americans do take hits from the idiots who confuse science with wishful thinking.

You can't have computers; and technology; without heavy usage on fossil fuels. Nothing lasts forever, either.

And, it's wise to note that if we ever did want to cut down on our consumption of oil, for instance, we'd have to do what every other nation that can, does. Nuclear energy. We don't have this as an option. We don't have drilling in Alaska, or offshore, as options, either. And, we haven't yet found a way to make the Saudis pay for the things they do that are so distructive. Rich bastards, they are, too. They, and their stinking culture, designs nothing. Has no schools of value. Or art. They're the parasites, if you really want to know.

Forbes

Well then Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and Colombia will just have to act like adults and look out for their own soverign- and self-interests...or make it Tom Friedman's job because he sure seems to think he knows what's best for those countries.

I guess the NYTimes self-selection as the leader of the US doesn't fully satisfy the Gray Bag Lady's appetite; running the world would suffice, thank you very much.

The rub is: if "a web of U.S. and European environmentalists and media constantly monitor their companies' global footprints," then why don't or won't these mostly leftist media and enviro-whack jobs make a big stink about Chinese-owned companies not operating up to snuff. Or is it merely the case of collective sympathy for their leftist brothers?

It's evident that Friedman has drunk from the NYTimes-owned water cooler when spouting the mantra regarding good corporate behavior as a normative response to the noble investigative journalist. Yet Friedman feigns ignorance of the reality that government regulatory compliance is the only game in town, and that bad PR draws the attention of regulators and legislators ever ready to regulate and legislate higher thresholds for compliance.

Or is it just that South American governments are not as easily intimidated by the leftist media and enviro-whack jobs as they are in Washington and Brussels?

And then there's the small matter of Friedman accepting as a given the notion that China isn't acting in a responsible manner--this being the tragedy of those employing free market economics, to which China is transitioning--the always and ever race to the bottom, i.e. greedy capitalists despoiling the environment.

Lefties: the same tune with differnt lyrics.

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