• Jun 21, 2006

Thomas Friedman recently disqualified himself for any future runs at heading up the General Motors fan club, but now he's going to host a new Discovery Times documentary called "Addicted to Oil". The topics that will be discussed during this documentary, such as the "true" price of gasoline (Friedman doesn't feel that the cost of securing oil or cleaning up the environment is reflected in what we pay at the pump) and the role of petrodollars in the War on Terror, are likely old hat for anyone who's been keeping up on the debate over the last few years. However, we suspect that there might be a few eyes opened among the general TV-watching audience, at least to the extent that this audience watches the Discovery Channel.

Friedman boasts that green energy technology will be the growth industry of the 21st century, and he says the real question is whether America will lead the way, or if a new economic leader will be born elsewhere in the world.

Interestingly enough, Friedman states that he has nothing against SUVs, and he seems to agree with GM's claim that the automaker makes a lot of large SUVs (such as the Hummer H2) because they sell well. That free-market explanation is a somewhat different take than what has been presented on the pages of the New York Times recently.

[Source: The Discovery Times]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      tsul,

      I believe you're confusing the host of this show with Milton Friedman when describing him as a candidate to replace Greenspan.
      • 8 Years Ago
      (yawn), wake me up when Mythbusters comes on. Hey, this phrase "addicted to oil" is getting pretty tiresome. Oil is a commodity we need, its not an addiction. We need LOTS of commodities. If we're *addicted* to oil, then we're equally addicted to aluminum, copper, salt, pork bellies, glass, paper, silicon, iron, rubber -- and nearly everything on the periodic chart in fact.

      Addiction? The previous poster was right that it's fast food we're addicted to. I've never watched an Exxon commercial at 9 pm and then suddenly hopped up, drooling and rushing to the nearest gas station to try the latest GASOLINE blend.

      Oh by the way, I'm pretty sure that even if there were no oil in the world, some form of evil would manage to fill the void, and the U.S. would *still* need a defence budget. In fact I seem to recall a 50-year cold war that had nothing at all to do with oil, but certainly ate up FAR more of our GDP every year in defense costs than we spend these halcyon days.



      • 8 Years Ago
      Sorry Discovery , lost me on this one
      DriftPunch
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wonder if the cost of deforestation, soil erosion, oxygen depletion, paper mill pollution, press polution, and the long term healthcare costs of overburdened paperboys is reflected in the cost of each edition of a single NYT paper.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Friedman is the Ann Coulter of environmentalism. Even the tree huggers (like me) think he's a nutcase.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Isn’t this a contradiction? SUV is one of many reasons America is “addicted to oil”!!!! Other addiction of American is fatty foods. Over half of American population is obese. The is no long the land of opportunity but the land of obesity!!! More large fries, large Coke for more fat ass Americans driving more big SUVs!!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Discovery can shove the show, an and that uninformed idiot. If they value their credibility they will drop Friedbrain, and show and Old Lucille Ball movie.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #10 I'm not really a tree hugger, although I would, for example, vote to preserve a park instead of "conserve" it by letting fatties drive four wheelers through it.

      But what I am is a free market supporter. And Friedman is very relevant.

      GM is using their substantial market capital to invest in SUVs, solely for the purpose of preserving their quarter-by-quarter profit vitality. It is not sustainable. They're profit-taking themselves into extinction. As more and more people get to know GM as the oil-pig option, their viability as a small car entity shrinks. They're addicted to profit - they're addicted to SUVs.

      How Toyota and GM manage their buisness in preparation for selling in China is highly relevant. So far, it's looking bad for the sleeping giant.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Friedman does documentaries which get aired by his employer's joint venture with the Discovery Channel, the Discovery Times Channel.

      In previous instances (as with this newest "documentary") he has published controversial articles in the Times a couple of weeks prior to the airing of his TV special.

      So, I ask you, is that journalistic ethics at its highest??? Or is it purely self-promotion?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I watched this tripe last night and could sense my IQ dropping in between commercials. The first blatant indication that I was watching agitprop fraud was when Friedman quizzed a Ford rep on the type of gas mileage the F-250 Super Chief gets, and only showed part of the answer. Something like 12 miles per gallon on gasoline, a number he mocked. What he purposely omitted (we know this because the rep's answer was obvioiusly cut off in mid-sentence) is that it is also capable of operating on both E85 *and* hydrogen. No mention whatsoever was made of that, even though it's the largest feather in this truck's hat, a point Ford proudly puts in the first paragraph on Super Chief's PR page. Google "ford super chief" and see for yourself. It's the second link.
      • 8 Years Ago
      the negative comments about mr. friedman are obviously from the gas guzzling gearheads that want to deflect this issue. (not all car enthusiasts share their views) mr. friedman was on the "short list" of candidates to replace greenspan as the head of the fed reserve. also, his book 'the world is flat" (about global economics) has been on the best seller list for well over a year. respected new york times journalist, etc., etc... so he is by no means a "nut case".
      • 8 Years Ago
      Americans aren't 'addicted' to oil. But they do 'enjoy' wasting it. More horsepower, more tons of steel, higher vantage point, more acceleration. What fun. And so practical (in 2001).

      Except attitudes developed when gasoline was $0.36/gallon or $1.35/gallon or $1.95/gallon start to be obsolete when the price creeps up to $3.00, $4.00 and $5.00/gallon. That's the problem. Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel market price. It's not the oil reserves, it's how fast the world can pump them out per year (and then refine them). Most fields are past their peak, pumping less and less each year. It's a desperate race between getting new fields on line while the old ones decline. And many old ones were the huge, easy ones. Any disruption to the mad race (Nigeria, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Norway...) and price shoots up. Eventually (3 years ? 5 ? 10? ) even with no disruptions, the flow will start to decline. Less and less, every year. Then 'addiction' versus 'enjoy' becomes irrelevant.

      Getting around in some vehicle is crucial to most Americans. But what kind of vehicle ? That's the crux of the 'addiction' charge.

      So, gasoline at $5.00/gallon. Are you enjoying that roomy versatility of a Ford Excursion now ?

      $6.00/gallon: how's that Hummer working out for you ?

      $7.00/gallon: maybe I should check out those new fangled hybrids (what did the dealer say ? A two year waiting list ?)

      $8.00/gallon: For sale, 2006 Chevy Suburban: best offer.

      $9.00/gallon: maybe that 100 mile/day commute to buy this house wasn't such a great idea. What is the waiting list on those new lithium-ion hybrids ? Four years ?

      $12.00/gallon. Finally got my plug-in hybrid. This is great. It's like gasoline being only $4.00/gallon again.
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