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.