Friday, February 21, 2003
Is it a requirement?: At the New York Times it appears that you can never have a completely positive column on anything the Bush administration does. Today's column by Nicholas Kristof is a "What I did on my President's Day Weekend" essay desperately in search of a news hook. Kristof got to drive one of GM's prototypes -- a hydrogen fuel cell car.
(If I get to take a test drive, I'd like to do this one.)
Near the end of his column, Kristof praises a Bush policy, then, unable to contain himself, trashes a different policy.
The bottom line is that President Bush was dead right last month to offer $1.7 billion to boost hydrogen technology, although it would help if the White House also promoted high-mileage hybrid cars for the present. The government could also do more, by deregulating commercial power supply by fuel cells and by encouraging fleet purchases of hydrogen vehicles.
What does any of this have to do with Iraq?
Hydrogen cars are a reminder that there is more than one way to ensure our supplies of energy in the years ahead, even if invading Iraq and investing in hydrogen address the issue on very different time horizons. Nonetheless, I have to say that waging war seems a reflex, pushing toward a hydrogen economy a vision.
This only has something to do with Iraq, if you wrongly believe that the imminent war on Iraq is all about oil. Oil is certainly an issue, but it's a tertiary one at best, subordinate to destroying all WMDs, regime change and killing terrorists.
Kristof's little jab is quite a stretch, but not surprising.