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

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

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

Thomas L. Friedman's No. 1 bestseller The World Is Flat has helped millions of readers to see the world, and globalization, in a new way. With his latest book, Friedman brings a fresh and provocative outlook to another pressing issue: the interlinked 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 the 2008 presidential election--and to all of us who are concerned about the state of America and its role in the global future.

"Green is the new red, white, and blue," Friedman declares, and 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 in the coming E.C.E.--the Energy-Climate Era. Green-oriented practices and technologies, established at scale everywhere from Washington to Wal-Mart, are both the only way to mitigate climate change and the best way for America to "get its groove back"--to "reknit America at home, reconnect America abroad, retool America for the new century, and restore America to its natural place in the global order."

As in The World Is Flat and his previous bestseller The Lexus and the Olive Tree, he explains the future we are facing through an illuminating account of recent events. He explains how 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the flattening of the world by the Internet, which has brought three billion new consumers onto the world stage, have combined to bring the climate and energy issues to main street. But they have not really gone down main street yet. Indeed, it is Friedman's view that we are not really having the green revolution that the press keeps touting, or, if we are, "it is the only revolution in history," he says, "where no one got hurt." No, to the contrary, argues Friedman, we're actually having a "green party." We have not even begun to be serious yet about the speed and scale of change that is required.

With all that in mind, Friedman lays out his argument that if we are going to avoid the worst disruptions looming before us as we enter the Energy-Climate Era, we are going to need several disruptive breakthroughs in the clean-technology sphere--disruptive in the transformational sense. He explores what enabled the disruptive breakthroughs that created the IT (Information Technology) revolution that flattened the world in information terms and then shows how a similar set of disruptive breakthroughs could spark the ET--Energy Technology--revolution. Time and again, though, Friedman shows why it is both necessary and desirous for America to lead this revolution--with the first green president, a green New Deal, and spurred by the Greenest Generation--and why meeting the green challenge of the twenty-first century could transform America every bit as meeting the Red challenge, that of Communism, did in the twentieth century.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781427204585
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 09/08/2008
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 5.90(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work with The New York Times, where he serves as the foreign affairs columnist. He is the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem (1989), The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1999), Longitudes and Attitudes (2002), and The World is Flat (2005). He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.


Washington, D.C. area

Date of Birth:

July 20, 1953

Place of Birth:

Minneapolis, Minnesota


B.A. in Mediterranean Studies, Brandeis University, 1975; M.A. in Modern Middle East Studies, Oxford University, 1978

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Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 125 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The World is Flat opened our eyes to the rise of technologies like high-speed Internet and the knocking down of barriers both literal (the Berlin Wall) and figurative (the opening of China's economy to free trade). As Friedman notes new technologies, political paradigm shifts and, more importantly, innovative individuals at the helms of startups have leveled the playing field in the global economy. Now things are getting worse, and the clock is ticking. Americans have squandered most of the goodwill extended since 9/11, writes Friedman, and in the years of the Bush administration no thought has been given to what 9/12 is supposed to look like. The climate is changing, but the administration has spent most of its tenure denying it and insisting on a particularist view that we deserve to be profligate because we're Americans. Our political blindness and ignorance vis-a-vis other nations now butts up against the world's instability and, Friedman continues, 'the convergence of hot, flat, and crowded is tightening energy supplies, intensifying the extinction of plants and animals, deepening energy poverty, strengthening petrodictatorship, and accelerating climate change.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars A Doable Win-Win Plan, September 8, 2008 By Norma Lehmeierhartie (New York, USA) - See all my reviews (REAL NAME) In Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America, Thomas Friedman presents an irresistible opportunity for Americans--one that can save the planet and increase our wealth. The world is flat because of globalization--which is good, as ideas and practices can spread effectively. What is not so good is that our world population is exploding and countries like India and China are seeing an increase in wealth, which puts more strain on the world's resources and increases global warming. Friedman begins the book with a discussion of how America has changed post 9/11. He uses the example of the US consulate built in 1882 in Istanbul. The consulate was built in the heart of the city: 'it was an easy place for Turks to get a VISA, to peruse the library or to engage with an American diplomat.' Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the building was closed and a nearly impenetrable consulate was built. This all but stopped visitors from visiting. Although the new building does protect against attacks, it isolates Americans and impacts on how we are viewed and how we see ourselves. Friedman writes that he wrote the book because: 'An American living in a defensive crouch cannot fully tap the vast rivers of idealism, innovation, volunteerism, and philanthropy that still flow through our nation. And it cannot play the vital role it has long played for the rest of the world--as a beacon of hope and the country that we can always be counted on to lead the world in response to whatever is the most important challenge of the day.' That challenge is global warming. He proposes we begin a massive project called 'code green.' Friedman identifies three broad trends in our society: 1. The post 9/11 building of walls around us to protect Americans from foreigners. 2. Since the 1980's, politicians acting 'dumb as we wanna be,' meaning we will get to fixing the roads, global warming and other issues when we get around to it. This includes politicians like Bush 'protecting us' from gas taxes and other unpleasantries to keep our standard of living, or the fact that we are in war and don't have to make any sacrifices (save the soldier's lives.) 3. Nation building at home. This is the one good trend Friedman sees and he writes about the plethora of innovative, imaginative souls who devote their energy to finding green solutions. Friedman considers what is now called the green movement to be more like a green party. He cites several 'green' books that include the words 'easy' or 'lazy' in the titles. The authors write books where: 'everyone is a winner, nobody gets hurt and nobody has to do anything hard.' I have read several of these books and agree--much of the advice is fluff. However, I do see the recent deluge of books and articles on sustainability as changing the consciousness and buying habits of the country. Many people who begin by making 'painless changes' get serious about the environment and one or two of them may be the next inventor of the solar-run car. I also believe that when millions cut down on the use of plastic and other nonrenewable resources, that it does make an environmental difference. The increase in population and wealth and buying power all tax our already limited supply of petroleum, coal and gas--all substances that cause global warming and pollute our planet. Even if you didn't 'believe' in global warming, it is a fact that petroleum--now needed in unprecedented amounts--is rapidly becoming an increasingly difficult product to procure. If you think spending $5.00 a gallon for gas for your car is a hardship, that price will be considered nothing in a few years. Folks, we are running out of time and oil. Friedman gets that Americans can use the diminishing supply in no
Guest More than 1 year ago
Friedman explains how global warming, a fast growing population, and an astonishing expansion of the world's middle classes are creating a planet that is 'hot, flat, and crowded.' The dangers posed by these changes are clear: global warning, energy and natural resources will be scarce, petrodictatorships will flourish, energy poverty, and biodiversity loss, and extinction of animal species. In just a few years--2012--according to Friedman, it will be too late to fix things. The US must step up to the plate and take the lead in a worldwide effort to replace our wasteful, inefficient energy practices with a strategy for clean and efficient energy, at the same time we start a massive plan of conservation that the author calls: 'Plan Green.' Not only it is a great challenge, but also a great opportunity and one America can't afford to miss. Not only is American leadership the key to the healing of the earth it is also our best strategy for the renewal of our country. Hot Flat, and Crowded is a classic book: fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the challenges--and promises--for a better future. My only concern with the book is that it should have been edited for better emphasis. After a while he just kept repeating himself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hot, Flat and Crowded is great, just like Friedman's previous book. 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. Highly recommended. People who like business books will also enjoy the other book I read this week: Squawk!: How to Stop Making Noise and Start Getting Results. It's been a big boon to my productivity as a manager already.
dSandridge More than 1 year ago
Even though I don't believe all of the "facts" in the book and I am sceptical about certain of Friedman's conclusions, the book is very intellectually stimulating and should be required reading for every American! Friedman very competantly explains how the world is becoming Hot (global warming), Flat (economic parity) and Crowded (population explosion). His historical perspectives are very good and help the laymen to understand these core issues. It is difficult for anyone to really know with certainty where we are headed with global climate change. Friedmans climate change conclusions are sobering and very well could be correct. However, Friedman does not give a balanced appraisal of the global warming debate. In a few places he uses emotionally charged arguements to support his conclusions (instead of sound scientific facts)about climate change. Friedman almost completely ignores the views of all climate scientists and considerable scientific information that might in anyway be contrary to his views. Although his global warming conclusions may indeed be correct, Friedman looses some credibility by using (at times) intellectually disingenuous arguements. Friedmans vision of the future, clean energy, etc, etc is appealing. It would be difficult for most readers to argue with his vision. However, the devil is always in the details. I suspect that the United States lacks the political will to implement his plan. I also suspect that the real economic costs to implement Friedman's vision are more than he represents. If his conclusions about climate change are correct, then we may have no choice but to make considerable social and energy changes, whatever the cost. However, if Friedman's climate change conclusions are exaggerated, it might not behove us to ruin our economy to avert a non-existent environmental castastrophe. Climate change and energy are the compelling issues of our generation. Reading Friedman's provocative book is intellectually stimulating and certainly worth the time to read regardless of whether you agree with the conclusions reached by Friedman!
HarvardMe More than 1 year ago
This guys is what one can call a total fake, he lives in an obscene huge mansion, Not green, he is a lobbyist for the GOP and AIPAC, he promoted the war in Iraq, justifies war crimes all over the world, drives a NON green car, and all he does in this book is propaganda things that he does not practice at all!
Matt Taibbi wrote and article, google it talking how this guy has become a converted "green" guy but yet his actions are nowhere to be seen, Besides this his own wife is the owner of thousands of Malls around the globe and the US, super polluting machines! And they destroyed pristine lands in order to build more malls just last year, this guy is using green as a money making machine! shame on him he should eat less as well
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im an incoming ninth grader reading this book for my college level humam geography class. I am wondering if anybody could help me out and tell me what credit history is. Thank you!
StarmanJT More than 1 year ago
It's yesterday's book, and poorly wrtten. You won't find the issues of the day here; you'd never guess the US is broke, the EU on its last legs, international bureaucracies feathering their nests. There are the simple mistakes: e.g., on p. 179, Brazil's largest city is spelled two ways in three lines. There are sins of ommission: nowhere do we read of natural gas being a good and cheap replacement for gasoline, instead we get statist comments and stupid praise of ethenol. Junk science is big; we have global warming, we have hybrid cars, we have needs to radically expand government regulation of damn near everything. Finally, and most egregiously, we have calls for "revolutionary bureaucrats! Ever met one?
dennisdu More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in our environment, where we may be going, what the problems are, and some realistic ways that problems can be addressed. Thomas Friedman uses his extensive experience in the mideast as well as many other countries to discuss how this is a worldwide issue and how this needs to be addressed in a worldwide manner. The only improvement might be that he probably could have made his points quicker, but he set the stage for all points with facts and input from various experts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Starts setting up for the dance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I do trust you."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
Important Look at Our Possible Future Many people would rather have a root canal than read a non-fiction book about economics, especially one that doesn't paint a glowing picture of the future. Hot - the result of global climate change. Flat - the world is not becoming literally flat, of course, but geographical features that once assured isolation, like mountains and oceans, are ever more easily surmounted. Crowded - seven billion people and growing. If you are one of many who've recently sweltered through an unusually hot spring, summer, or fall, consider how much less pleasant it will be if/when our ancient, outdated power grid can't support all our electrical needs, and we have more and more rolling blackouts, with no air conditioning or even ceiling fans to move air around. Yes, that is the direction we are headed. Sounds grim, and it could be, but there are plenty of ways that particular future can be averted. It starts out quoting The Onion, about American's propensity to buy cheaply made crap from China. Crap that quickly breaks and thus must be replaced, and being Americans, we can't seem to stop ourselves from consuming even more crap. The book doesn't just present arguments and statistics, but uses lots of anecdotes to illustrate and drive the points home. The first half of the book presents the problem; the second half offers solutions. The style is easy to read, and the arguments are compelling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not going to bother reading yet ANOTHER piece of "Green" propaganda. You would not waste your time away from recycling or gardening if you REALLY paid attention to the fact that the GREEN in this movement is representing MONEY & most assuredly~ NOT the flora OR the , inconsiderate fauna bovine cloud FARTS in the atmosphere. Nosir. There is climate change on this here planet, there is ALSO~hold on to yer hat~a pretty darn good history of the universe that THIS & the entirety of space actually, really, unbeleivably CHANGE!!!!! Over & over, hurtling through time, against ALL odds, it seems to RECOVER all by it's damned self! According to the SEND ME YER GREEN OR WE ARE ALL DOOMED guys, "climate change" {which in Swahili means "my wallet only contains change!"} Is a PERFECT ruse to guilt people into supporting your nothing but honest {cough}…totally really cares about mothet earth, current politician, and the various others who are profitting off of making you do stuff like ditching incandescent bulbs - to, um, replace them with HIGHLY expensive new age of bs bulbs that if GOD FORBID you bust one you better have HAZMAT on 911 ready~lest you seriously & permanently contaminate all living things around . INCLUDING , lord have mercy ~ factory farms, adding THAT poisin to cow farts!. OH! The humanity! I think I just figured out why 1000s of birds fall dead at yer feet sometimes. BLAST that GREEN cloud of cow flatulence with the cherry red bag of on top of extreme toxins! I think really, if you want to help save this highly polluted earth from doom, you gotta do some real simple stuff. Like recycle. Like DO NOT THROW CIGARETTE BUTTS ALL OVER HELL AND HIGH WATER GOD THAT IS SO DISGUSTING ALREADY, bend over & pick up trash that some clueless clod threw down & show THAT example of caring enough to want to make things much better regardless of who might think yer a nut. Or a hippy. How about making this planet safe for all of us by throwing politicians in jail for using depleted uranium on innocent people? By not allowing ANY MORE WARS! OR, by allowing people here to be employed again in trades of construction or artisans, things we USED to do AND BE PROUD of. Or, throwing ALL corrupted politicians displaying a love of power over the poor & a love for amassing more ill gotten gains than a body could EVER hope to spend, let alone need, in jail for crimes so grievous that we can't seem to "get" how bad we need to stop allowing this behavior & attitude of "to big to jail". We CIVILIANS are never to big to jail, or be molested by TSA! And while we are thinking pollution is SO bad we are killing the earth, is there a movement in this country to abolish the invasive radiation that we have been exposed to in airports for the last TWELVE YEARS? Politicians are SUPPOSED to be OUR employees. We have forgotten this fact in America. The only green in Washington that matters, or really, in this NewWorldOrder that we are fast letting take over, is MONEY. The GREEN MOVEMENT IS AS HONEST AS MAINSTREAM NEWS. Choose to go along with that ruse , that abomination, & your people 50 -100 years from now will be asking what we asked after WWII & operation paperclip, Korea ,Vietnam, And most unexplainable of all, 911. Why didn't we do a THING to wake from the matrix of lies & corruption & save this country, let alone the world, from unbridled greed which led to it's destruction? GLOBAL WARMING MONEY IS AS PROFITABLE AS THE WAR MACHINE. Think about it.
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MZNazir More than 1 year ago
Hot, Flat, and Crowded is a very insightful book that explains what the earth's problems are regarding global climate change, the advancement in and the substantial dependence on technology ("flatness" of the world), and the exceeding world population. The second half of the book is dedicated to sharing ideas on how we can slowly, yet significantly, lessen these problems. Although Friedman successfully describes our world's issues and how we can eliminate them, the book tends to share an over-abundant quantity of scenarios, interviews, and news stories, one after another. This puts the reader in a state of perplexity because of these abrupt changes. The vast quantity of political, economic, and statistical information left me confused and a little bored because of the somewhat monotonous string of information. Otherwise, I learned a lot about our world's issues that I didn't know before. Getting an insight of other countries' problems and achievements made me want America to be #1 in being "green" and environmentally cautious, while still being an economically and politically stable nation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
colton-hail More than 1 year ago
The first chapter of this book is vary good, but as you read on it tends to get a little more wordy or lots of words between interesting facts. Thomas Friedman could have added more things like how average Americans can help the environment. All around this is a decent unless if you don't believe in a cleaner and heather future for the following generations.
NeilJ More than 1 year ago
I did not realize all of the things that went wrong behind the scenes of the recent financial crisis. Friedman lays things out in a way I can understand. He took it beyond what you here in the news.
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Jacob Moussa More than 1 year ago
I tried for three weeks to get in to it. Message is old but vaild. Buy the book summary. Also this book is not a good reflction of Thomas' other works. The lexus and the olive tree and the world is flat were both great books and worth the read at the time.