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Notes on Tom Friedman’s carbon footprint

A former neighbor of New York Times columnist Tom Friedman comments on Friedman’s epiphany in Bali yesterday. Sounding like the late Charles Reich, Friedman observed “a change in global consciousness” on display among the assembled UNuchs in Bali. I commented briefly on the Bali conferenece and drew attention to Friedman’s column in “The end is nigh.” Friedman’s former neighbor writes:

I took note of your piece on the Bali conference keyed off of reporting by our friend Tom Friedman, who has evolved from a Middle East expert to environmentalist extraordinaire.

Our correspondent notes Friedman’s address and comments on his home outside Washington, D.C.:

I lived within shouting distance of Friedman. Take a look at the carbon footprint this guy leaves. He lives on about seven acres — it was once the home site of a prominent Washington attorney…The house sits on a hill with a great view and a western exposure. Friedman bought the house from the late lawyer’s family about five years ago, tore down the huge older house and constructed an [over 11,000] square foot residence, with 7.5 bathrooms, on the hilltop. It is beautifully landscaped, as you can tell from the aerial/satellite photographs, and the foliage likely requires a lot of water. The property is listed on the tax rolls for [well over $9,000,000]. It makes me feel better that those who preach environmentalism practice such a modest intrusion on the environment itself.

Of course, there’s a lot of that going around these days. And we haven’t yet had time yet to observe whether Friedman’s raised consciousness will result in a reduction of his carbon footprint now that Friedman has been given to understand the end is nigh.
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