If your not currently familiar with Thomas L. Friedman, he is a New York Times Op-Ed columnist and bestselling author. In my opinion he is constantly on the forefront of progressive ideas. He just wrote an important article that should immediately be acted upon called "Turning the Election Green".
The main theme of this article is that there should be separate presidential debate that focuses environmental topics. Even though the Iraq war is currently the most discussed topic in politics and probably will be a main focal point of the upcoming election. I think that Green issues are just as important, the reason for this is that Green issues are the only issues that permeate the outcome of other issues.
You can discuss til' your blue in the face why we are in Iraq but, a simple fact is that a large majority of terrorists originate from organizations that originate from middle eastern countries and the money to support these organizations primarily comes from oil wealth. While it is a lesser known fact that they US only gets a small percentage of their oil from the middle east, this has no bearing on the fact that if the US took a stand on becoming energy independent with green technology other countries would soon follow suit. This would eventually cut off the flow of money to middle eastern rulers, which would take away their power, and eventually force democratic change in the region. The major point is that it would force democratic change internally instead of externally which I personally believe won't work. In conclusion if you have democratic change in the region it gives people control of their own lives which in turn gives people no reason to join terrorist organizations because now their focus is on living their lives to the best of their ability, and not blaming outside influences for their problems.
I know the above paragraph is a long diatribe but, the idea is that we need to force politicians to take environmental issues seriously. While it's so easy for them to say what they think should be done in Iraq, let's force them to come up with real solutions for our world that not only has a global impact, but has a cross platform social and political impact to make our world a better place. The democratic debate last week had only 1 or 2 questions with an environmental focus. This is not good enough.
Having a separate green debate will force the legitimacy of this issue, and hopefully change some behavior in Washington.
Recently Thomas Friedman has been involved in some excellent projects promoting green ideas here are some links:
"The Power Of Green"
NYT Op-Ed Article
"The Power Of Green"
NYT Video Interview
"What's Red, White, Blue & Green all over?"
WNYC Interview with Thomas Friedman
"Tip Of The Hat / Wag Of The Finger"
Stephen Colbert Bit about Thomas Friedman (After the Shrek Bit) This is just for Fun!!
"It's All About Carbon"
Great NPR bit about carbons effect on the environment (Not Friedman related)