Hot, Flat & Crowded


I just finished Tom Friedman‘s Hot, Flat, and Crowded.  It’s a good book that talks about 2 things: climate change and America’s decline.   The first items is due to a number of trends: nations becoming more developed (flat) and pulling people out of poverty (crowded) which in turn requires more energy and increases production (hot).  The second issue is that America also faces a crisis.  A emotional, physical and international crisis.  One quote in the book mentions:

It’s like jumping off an 80-story building.  For 97 stories you feel as if you’re flying.  That’s where the world is now.

America is losing its entrepreneurial drive and its status as the premier innovator in the world. Friendman then goes on to describe that America should solve it’s crisis by getting entrepreneurial about green living and green technology and if America solves its problem, this will in turn solve the world’s problems too.

The book also discusses global warming and oil and their interdependence.  Global warming is here due to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and while people dispute some of the implications of this, it is a fact that we’re putting more and more carbon into the atmosphere.  There’s also an interesting chapter about the oil industry and how the oil-rich countries become increasingly more anti-american and anti-democratic as the price of oil increases.  It also discusses the impact of supplying ultra-conservative Muslim nations with amazing amounts of cash.

It’s worth a read.  Anyone else read it?  If so, what are your thoughts?

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