Hot Flat and Crowded Thomas Friedman

The Green Revolution

Hot, Flat, and Crowded culminates in a level-headed

analysis of the best answers to the hot-plusflat-

plus-crowded equation. Friedman’s

goal is to energize a green revolution, the

likes of which the world has never seen.

Since climate change, rising middle classes

and swelling populations are vital concerns,

Friedman’s response is more than a simple,

short-term solution. Instead of only fighting

the symptoms of planet wide problems, he

proposes a complete “Clean Energy

System” to eliminate the many sources of

our possible demise.

Friedman’s latest book also serves as a

wake-up call to leaders at all levels to

“actually generate the vision and authority

to pull that system together.” This requires

thinking past the next round of sound bites

and the next season of elections to develop a plan of

action for guiding the country to better economic and

environmental health. Friedman writes that this effort

also requires the leadership of a U.S. president who is

capable of rallying the country to change its wasteful

ways and igniting the innovation of a nation. That kind

of authority can be rare, Friedman points out, but it will

be required for a truly green revolution to make the

necessary changes to avoid disaster.

Presidential Power

While analyzing the role of the U.S. presidency in

leading the country through the massive changes needed

to keep the country competitive, Friedman points out

that Abraham Lincoln won the Civil War by expanding

the federal government. He adds that Franklin

Roosevelt also transformed a weak federal government,

turning it into the organization that conquered the Great

Depression and won World War II.

Likewise, Friedman writes that it is possible for another

strong president to lead the country through the

green revolution. Using every democratic means necessary,

Friedman explains, the president must have priorities

that include a new integrated national energy system

that replaces our currently inefficient grid. Regulated by

too many agencies rather than a single powerful guiding

entity, the current system, Friedman says, is a jumble of

mismatched parts that makes it hard to improve efficiency

and add alternative sources of energy to the mix.

Friedman writes that the United States needs an energy

policy whose primary focus is making clean power a

priority. It starts with innovating cleaner alternatives to

oil and generating cleaner power. It continues by building

a real system for creating greater efficiency and conservation.

In other words, Friedman proposes, the country

needs a “real” Department of Energy that works to

help the green revolution take root.

Turning problems into opportunities is the underlying

power of Hot, Flat, and Crowded. By considering all the

facts and issues involved in the big picture, and then formulating

the data into answers to the enormous difficulties

he describes, Friedman aims to shift the world’s perspective

away from conspicuous consumption and

toward conscious consumption. Meanwhile, he offers the

tools to make those adjustments permanent. Friedman

proposes immediate actions that can lead the country and

the world down a more sustainable path. He also confronts

our issues head on, turning them into opportunities

for valuable rewards. Through well-rounded reporting

and encouragement of positive change, he offers clarity

and ammunition for the uphill battle through the hot,

flat and crowded quagmire to a better place.

The Energy-Climate Era

At this pivotal point where the Energy-Climate Era

could go in an even more dangerous direction, we have

a chance to build sustainable solutions before our problems

grow too large to manage. Friedman’s latest book

offers timely hope to those overwhelmed by the clear

evidence of our difficult path ahead, which grows wilder

with challenges from all sides. The ride to prosperity

will be long and daunting, Friedman writes, but the

solutions to our problems are possible and abundant

with the proper attitudes and leadership.

Sustainable development is within our grasp, and

the green revolution is a helpful guide through which

we can review our actions and our work. By showing

readers how this revolution works, what it is trying

to accomplish and how each individual can make a

difference on a planetary scale, Hot, Flat, and Crowded

offers both concern and hope, along with the rich

ideas that can help hope become contagious. In it,

the opinions and ideas of many experts make the

imperative for action clearer with every chapter, so

readers can understand the importance of sustainable

solutions to entrenched habits and behaviors. According

to environmental law expert John Dernbach, the

decisions Americans make about sustainable

development “are decisions about who we are, what

we value, what kind of world we want to live in,

and how we want to be remembered.”

Thanks to Friedman’s vast experience and insight into

globalization and the resources involved in its evolution,

he is revered as a writer who works to keep humanity

from becoming an endangered species. His prescription

for redefining the most important issues of our day and

reigniting the passion of the country for innovating solutions

where they are needed most is massive yet realistic.

In the end, he points out, we need to rise to this enormous

challenge if we want to continue to live on a

planet that is hotter, flatter and more crowded than ever

before. By helping to clarify the focus of the United

States and the rest of the world on the most pressing

issues they face together, and on better strategies for

moving forward together, Thomas Friedman and his

book Hot, Flat, and Crowded deserve all the praise and

popularity they’ve been given by worldwide institutions,

media and admirers.


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