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Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America, Release 2.0 Paperback – November 24, 2009
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“Friedman produces cogent analyses of the most important developments of our time. . . . A convincing case for the green revolution required to rescue us from an unsustainable course.” ―USA Today
“Friedman has made himself a major interpreter of the confusing world we inhabit. . . . He gets the big issues right.” ―The Washington Post Book World
“A compelling manifesto that deserves a wide reading, especially by members of Congress.” ―The Boston Globe
“If Friedman's profile and verve take his message where it needs to be heard, into the boardrooms of America and beyond, that can only be good--for all our sakes.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“Tom Friedman has done it again. . . . He has lit upon what he might describe as another Big Idea, and, given his track record as a zeitgeist thermometer, we should all pay attention. . . . He has a gift for weaving anecdotes and examples from around the world into his broader tapestry.” ―Financial Times
“Hot, Flat, and Crowded may make it official, for many, that ecology-mindedness is the character of our times. . . . I hope everyone reads it.” ―The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Required reading” ―Business Week
“New York Times columnist and globalization exponent Thomas Friedman pleads for Americans to wake up to the perils and opportunities of an emerging resource-strapped world. The author comes across as a blend of Will Rogers, Jack Welch and Norman Vincent Peale--a plain-spoken citizen outraged at the bullheadedness of U.S. politicians, yet optimistic about the power of ingenuity and finely crafted policy to avert disaster.” ―Newsweek
About the Author
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work with The New York Times, where he serves as the foreign affairs columnist. He is the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem (1989), The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1999), Longitudes and Attitudes (2002), and The World is Flat (2005). He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
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The latest book by Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why the World Needs a Green Revolution, and How It Can Revolutionize America, beseeches America to lead the world in what Friedman terms a green revolution. In the book he urges America to demolish the walls it has built post-911 and rebuild relationships with the world to accomplish the daunting task of reworking our entire way of life to meet the challenges of an ever more populated, flat, and undeniably warming world. Anyone who has an interest in the new green revolution or feels that the world needs a change for the better would truly benefit from the author's insight, anecdotes, facts, and plans to change the world.
Thomas Friedman's depth of knowledge of world affairs is truly remarkable once one delves into one of his books. His apparent, extensive research and personal interviews with some of the world's leading businessmen, politicians, and world leaders is a break from the media blitz that has surrounded climate change and the green revolution. Besides presenting mounds of facts, statistics, and current events, the author provides perspective on those events and how they relate to one another, making it easier for people who may not have as deep a knowledge of world affairs to understand the true implications of the global threats we face daily.
This reviewer appreciates a writer who not only presents the facts and the situation, but has a plan to solve it. Throughout the book, Friedman presents logical, fact based plans to right the wrongs of society to promote conservation, reduce energy use, and bring the U.S. back to its rightful position as leader of the free world. Friedman manages to cut through to the heart of climate change and global crowding and provide real solutions rather than simply relating the facts as so many other authors do. Hot, Flat and Crowded is simply one of the best books on climate change that the market has to offer.
Thomas Friedman here captures the issue like nothing else. Most books on the subject are nothing but sad stories about Bambi and the other creatures of the forest from nasel sounding failed politicians. All of those books were written by rich ex-politicans or whinny university professors who all don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. To 90% of the world living in the edge of poverty the Green religion has different meanings. This book takes a radically new approach to explaining things. He both shows the importance of the isse but tempers it with some reality.
Thomas's reality on the world is a good read. The first half of the book shows in great detail the status of the world. He in very clear detail shows how population for the third world is going through the roof. Then he discusses the impact from that unrestrained growth. This growth has a huge impact on other things and vice versa. Growing populations need more energy. As they burn that energy damage from pollution grows and the demand on supply increases pushing up price. Friedman's discussion of this angle is excellent. It is clear, concise, and very believable. Christians who read it will swear they are reading a description of the last days, though Mr. Friedman doesn't talk about that. He says the pressure from this situation demands a "Green Revolution".
His ideas on how to start this revolution is really thought provoking. He has very specific ideas like a new electrical grid system for the country or how to use R&D monies to prime the research pump. Friedman's ideas do seem to rely heavily on optimism and humanism. His descriptions are very clear and entertaining. He has some little known stories that really enrich the story and do give hope. The stories make the issue real and not some vague ideology ex-liberals like to preach.
He does have some ideas worth exploring on the policy front. The recent President elect's radio speeches sound like he has read this book. I am sure we all will see these ideas debated on TV news over the next year or so. That is why I think everyone should read this book. It will help you understand events.
Having set the scene, Friedman then launches into a solution which involves a greening of the world. And this should occur not just in the USA and other industrialised countries but must reach into China and the newly developing world. Again, hard to argue here. However, I feel that the means that he proposes this greening is somewhat wishy washy. Greening will require significant market reforms. The world will need a carbon tax at least; more likely, there will be a need to develop a full carbon trading system. But herein lies the problem. The US has already rejected "cap and trade". Not a great start. Here in Australia where this reviewer resides, there is a fierce debate at present as to the need for any intervention at all. The government seems to be losing popularity by the day as it pushes a market based agenda. This is a shame. Hard choices need to be made.
In spite of my reservations, I enjoyed Friedman's book. He is a fine journalist at the top of his craft. His influence is significant and he has a loyal fan base. I only wish that he could be more hard headed. We are facing a serious challenge at the global level. This will require severe medicine. Friedman could have produced a better book by recognising this fact with greater determination.