Thomas Friedman earned the first big round of applause today.
Aiming his sights at talk show host Rush Limbaugh, the New York Times columnist said that if global warming were not true, it would be the "greatest hoax" ever perpretrated on the United States.
He said that regardless of whether global warming happens, the United States should reduce its energy use and be more green because it would lead to better security and a stronger economy.
"It's like training for the Olympic triathlon," he said. "If the Olympics are held, you may win. If they are not held, you're fitter, healthier and smarter," he said.
That earned the first big round of applause at the Emerging Issues Forum today. (Earlier, a few people clapped when speaker Amory Lovins said sardonically that the U.S. military is trying to reduce its oil usage so that it won't have to fight wars in oil-rich areas.)
But Friedman said he didn't need applause.
"You don't need to clap," he said. "This isn't Crossfire."