Hot, Flat, and Crowded
Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America
Publication Date: September 8, 2008
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—with the first Green President and a Green New Deal, spurred by the Greenest Generation. Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman—fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the world we live in today.
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, the foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem (winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction); The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization; Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11; and The World Is Flat. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his family.
1. Discuss chapter one's title, "Where Birds Don't Fly," and the story behind it. How has this bunker mentality affected America's role as an agent for positive change in the global arena?
"At the intersection of leveled economic and technological access (flat) with an aggravated environment (hot), and a surging population (crowded), Friedman stands upon his pulpit as preacher, prophet, and promoter of a green revolution starting in the United States. He provides an exhaustive, impressive, and convincing argument about the need for the United States to transition to more sustainable systems of energy soon or else risk any possible chance of maintaining hegemony. His ability to identify and summarize succinctly the issues and controversies over resistance to a green revolution is matched by his clear and definitive solutions to these forthcoming problems. Oliver Wyman provides a congenial and gentle voice that works well with the text.... He navigates the quoted text of this book with a distinguishing voice that sometimes hints at personality traits not referred to in the text. Impressively, Wyman keeps his consistency of cadence and tone throughout the entire reading."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review “Hot, Flat, and Crowded is a cri de Coeur, an impassioned appeal, read with equal zeal by Oliver Wyman…Cogent, persuasive, fascinating in its scope, Friedman’s call to arms will make you ask what kind of America you want for yourself and your children.” – BookPage, Sukey’s favorite Praise for The World is Flat—winner of the 2006 Audie award for best nonfiction:
“Narrator Oliver Wyman does a superb job...The audiobook technology that enables us to take in so much information while caught in traffic or scrubbing a pan is precisely the sort of handhold Friedman would urge us all to grasp, and with both hands."—AudioFile “[This book’s] insight is true and deeply important.... The metaphor of a flat world, used by Friedman to describe the next phase of globalization, is ingenious.... [His method] works in making complicated ideas accessible.”—The New York Times Book Review “This book showcases Friedman’s gift for lucid dissections of abstruse economic phenomena, his teacher’s head, his preacher’s heart, his genius for trend-spotting.” —The Washington Post “No one today chronicles global shifts in simple and practical terms quite like Friedman. He plucks insights from his travels and the published press that can leave you spinning like a top.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Wyman successfully faces the difficult demands of conveying Friedman’s concerns while maintaining listener interest in the information-rich text. His youthful, conversational delivery is engaging and, in fact, seems to subtly echo Friedman’s own speech patterns.” – Booklist