Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hot, Flat and Crowded - Book Review

Years ago I read a pretty good book by Thomas Friedman... The Lexus and the Olive Tree. It was a bit eye-opening... and so the follow-on book The World is Flat was the next of Freidman's books I was to read.Earlier this year I read his latest book Hot, Flat and Crowded... I was sorely un-impressed! It was pretentious, over-bearing, and 'greener than Gore' - and I really don't believe in this whole 'Global Warming' thing, especially not the Gore way. It seemed to me that Freidman was heading down the same path, using his great intellect, and experience on the world stage to bring more of this 'Green' Religion to the masses. I only could stomach about 1/2 of the book before I had to put it down. Then I was surfing on the iTunes University page and came across a lecture Freidman gave at MIT years ago. After The World is Flat, but right before Hot, Flat and Crowded was released. In watching this video I learned more about the genesis of the new book, and where the 'Green' portion came from. I gained new insight into the 'Greener than Gore' statement.

Friedman things Al Gore and all politicians are basically stupid, ignorant, and un-caring about the actual environment, but more interested in their own power base and financial gain. The Green Revolution he is presenting needs to be an actual REVOLUTION... not just folks buying new fluorescent lights and driving Prius cars... we need to REALLY SHAKE UP the whole system in order to get off the addiction we have to foreign oil.

He WANTS to have a government that is supporting of these ideas, but is more than willing to have individuals, corporations, and groups lead the way instead.
This is an eye-opening tome. I plan on finishing it on my flight to Oakland this evening.

Please watch the video and see if it doesn't also change your mind like it did mine.

Here's a pretty good review.

Thomas L. Friedman's no. 1 bestseller The World Is Flat has helped millions of readers to see globalization in a new way. Now Friedman brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy—both of which could poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively. His argument speaks to all of us who are concerned about the state of America in the global future.

Friedman proposes that an ambitious national strategy—which he calls "Geo-Greenism"—is not only what we need to save the planet from overheating; it is what we need to make America healthier, richer, more innovative, more productive, and more secure.

As in The World Is Flat, he explains a new era—the Energy-Climate era—through an illuminating account of recent events. He shows how 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the flattening of the world by the Internet (which brought 3 billion new consumers onto the world stage) have combined to bring climate and energy issues to Main Street. But they have not gone very far down Main Street; the much-touted "green revolution" has hardly begun. With all that in mind, Friedman sets out the clean-technology breakthroughs we, and the world, will need; he shows that the ET (Energy Technology) revolution will be both transformative and disruptive; and he explains why America must lead this revolution.


Gramps said...

Tom is an interesting person. I watched some of his talk. You'll have to share his latest book with us.
Thanks for your interesting and enjoyable posts about your life Keith.

Jill Parsons said...

I will have to watch the video. I am always impressed how you, as in Keith, have a strong opinion about something but once educated are willing to see it from a different perspective and often change or mind. Your amazing, and as Karrissa stated in her blog, " I am the luckiest", Love you