Thomas FriedmanThe Bay Area Air Quality Management District booked Pulitzer Prize-winning Thomas Friedman (“Hot, Flat, and Crowded“) to give a speech at its climate summit last week in Oakland. He spent about two hours with the 500 invited bureaucrats, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, autographing copies of his book and answering questions. For this, and for his speech, he was paid $75,000 and the board picked up his hotel.

Only trouble is the speech he gave was “almost identical” to a talk he delivered in Florida last November—and that speech is available online for free.

“That very likely may be,” spokeswoman Lisa Fasano said. “But this certainly is much more moving and inspirational to see and hear in person.”

We hereby announce our new plan for saving newspapers: get everyone to do this and do away with salaries. Pretty sweet gig if you ask us.