Charles Komanoff


Letter in NY Times Book Review, July 2003, on climate change and green politics

New York Times; (07/20/03)

The Green Stuff

To the Editor:

In his review of Clyde Prestowitz's ''Rogue Nation'' (June 22), Bill Keller says that Prestowitz ''acknowledges the weaknesses'' of the Kyoto treaty on global warming as well as ''the culpability of the European greens . . . who hijacked the cause of environmentalism.''

On the contrary: European greens, unlike their ineffectual American cousins, have actually been able to advance the environmental agenda. Euro greens have inspired ''traffic-calming'' measures that keep European cities hospitable for walking and cycling. They have supported high gasoline taxes that finance Europe's rail systems while discouraging dangerous, gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles. And they have embraced wind energy, which now supplies 18 percent of Denmark's electricity, while some prominent American greens oppose wind-power projects because the windmills interfere with expensive beachfront views.

This ''hijacked'' environmentalism is in fact the only environmentalism worthy of the name.

Charles Komanoff
New York