Saturday, March 07, 2009

Read this book: Hot, Flat and Crowded


Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America, Thomas L. Friedman.

"What kind of America would you like to see--an America that is addicted to oil and thereby fueling the worst autocracies in the world, or a green America that is building scalable alternatives to crude oil and thereby freeing ourselves from the grip of countries who have drawn a bull's-eye on our back and whose values we oppose?

What kind of America would you like to see--and America that is steadily outsourcing more and more blue-collar, labor-intensive manufacturing jobs to China, or a green America that is building more knowledge-intensive green-collar technology jobs...which are more difficult to outsource and will have to be the industry of the future, as fossil-fuel energy supplies dwindle and world population grows?

...a green America where the U. S. goverment imposes steadily higher efficiency standards, forcing a constant flow of new thinking around materials, power systems, and energy software making us the most energy-productive country in the world?

...a green America where inventing a source of abundant, clean, reliable, cheap electrons, which could enable the whole planet to grow in a way that doesn't destroy its remaining natural habitats, becomes the goal of this generation...

...a green America that is seen as the country most committed--by example--to preserving our environment and the species that inhabit it, earning the world's respect?"
(from Chapter One, "Where Birds Don't Fly," p. 23-24)

Everyone should read this book.

Make no mistake, it's hardly a light feel-good read. It's depressing and challenging. But whether you agree with Friedman wholeheartedly or not, he's right about one thing: We are rapidly outgrowing our available resources. Something has to change, and now, or humanity's ability to survive on this planet will be compromised. And our country has a choice: America can lead the way or we can get left in the dust.

2 comments:

Sara said...

I'll have to check this one out! Sounds good.

Sean Keller said...

Friedman's writing in the Times was the main influence for starting our website http://www.greencollareconomy.com check it out and let us know what you think. We're trying to promote the economy that was written about in Hot, Flat and Crowded.