chapter  4
Reinventing capitalism
Pages 38

But for Friedman, more is at stake than warding off catastrophic climate change. The green economy is not only the solution to global ecological problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. It is the unique opportunity for the US to regain its hegemonic power, and reinstate itself as the moral leader of the world. The prestige of the US has obviously been severely dented by the subprime crisis and the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Friedman, the green economy can help the US win back its prestige. Furthermore, it could also help to reduce US dependence on autocratic oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, which finance various forms of Islamic fundamentalism. Hundreds of billions of dollars currently flow every year from energy-consuming to energy-producing countries. This flow may stop if we play the green card, Friedman argues. Even wars for oil would become redundant. ‘Making America the world’s greenest country is not a selfless act of charity or naive moral indulgence,’ he says. ‘It is now a core national security and economic interest’ (Friedman 2008, 23). ‘What could be more patriotic, capitalistic, and geostrategic than that?’ he asks rhetorically (203).