Hot, Flat and Crowded, by Thomas Friedman

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I like Friedman a lot. He’s written several exceptional books, and has made some important themes very accessible to millions of people. He gets criticized by a lot of people for a lot of things, but I think quite highly of the man, his insights, and his ability to help people understand some of the more fundamental things that are happening in our world. I’ve seen a bunch of what he writes about firsthand in some of my travels around the world the last few years, and think he’s probably as good as anyone at synthesizing things to bring home (Zakaria is another like this.)

Anyway, this book is about energy — or, rather, the impact of the way that we predominantly get our energy — on the climate around us. It felt on the long side to me — I think there was a little too much anecdotal reporting and the book could have been edited down — but it’s probably the most comprehensive + accessible look at climate change and the impacts on modern life that I’ve read so far. Recommended.

5 Replies to “Hot, Flat and Crowded, by Thomas Friedman”

  1. I used to be a big fan of Friedman until I came to the conclusion that he’s wrong about globalization–I think it leads to an equal amount of exploitation as liberation. And given our dwindling oil resources, I suspect localization is what will really matter in the next decade. Oil is globalization’s Achilles’ heel.

  2. Localization? The product of a dwinding, low cost energy supply is localization. One step to meeting the needs of a localized, thriving economy would be to make affordable health avail., therefore encouraging small business startups, provide funds for those start ups with a focus on restoring farmland in the form of “victory gardens”, reduce the number of people driving more then 1-2 miles to work. Encourage diversification in food and services produced. Support efforts to limit use of virgin lands for buildings by encouraging use of empty and already developed property.

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