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.


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 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.