Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman

Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Hot, Flat, and Crowded is a book that addresses the global environmental crisis and America’s loss of focus and national purpose since 9/11. The author, Thomas Friedman, argues that the convergence of hot, flat, and crowded is leading to a crisis that requires urgent action.

The title of the book refers to three major trends of this century: climate change, the rise of a global middle class, and a rapidly expanding population.

Friedman asserts that there are not enough energy and natural resources for everyone to consume at Americans’ current rates. He advocates for a green revolution that will help America regain its focus and national purpose while also addressing the global environmental crisis.

The book provides examples of how other countries are already making progress in this area and offers suggestions for how America can catch up.

Useful takeaways from the book include:

  • The urgent need for a green revolution to address the global environmental crisis
  • The importance of America taking a leadership role in this area
  • The potential benefits of a green revolution for America’s economy and national security
  • The need for individuals to take action in their own lives to reduce their carbon footprint
  • The importance of investing in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures.

What I Liked

The book is an approachable read about how a few megatrends will interact over the next several decades.

What I Did Not Like

Pundits have a fascinating talent for making black and white predictions…while still providing an “out” for when history inevitably happens in a different way. This book is broadly right…but history has turned out to be much weirder and different than the book argues for.

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