Is it "Hot" in here, or is it just me?

by myzticrhythmz@evpl on Friday, November 21 2008, 10:25am. Viewed 1,328 times.

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when gasoline prices rose from under eighty cents to the staggering price of $1.40 a gallon, the United States government implemented measures to reduce oil imports and improve energy efficiency.

Flash forward twenty-plus years. Larger vehicles are again the norm, gas prices top $4.00 a gallon, and development and consumption across the world are rampant.  The environment is more at risk than ever. What to do?

Enter New York Times columnist and Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Thomas Friedman, and his latest book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution, and How It Can Renew America.

Hot, flat & crowded are concepts that are, individually, not new. "Hot" refers to global warming, an issue that has become increasingly, well, hot, recently, especially during the last election. "Flat" is an idea presented by Mr. Friedman in his previous bestseller, The World is Flat, and represents the level economic playing field and globalization. "Crowded" indicates humanity's continued growth & expansion, and its negative effects on biodiversity and the world's limited resources.

Friedman's solution to "hot" & "crowded" is to utilize the U.S. (& potentially global) markets. He suggests a competition, largely enforced by government regulation and taxing, to stimulate the U.S. to become more green than China.  The goals here are two-fold: to reduce dependence on foreign oil, thereby depriving "petrodictators" and potential terrorists a livelihood; and to help preserve Earth's ecosystems and resources and, thereby, ourselves.

I listened to the abridged audio version of this book and would probably recommend reading Hot, Flat, and Crowded instead. With so many concepts and so much information, you'll want to take your time with it.

And let us know what you think!

Comments (5)

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on Friday, November 21 2008, 11:29am

I am almost finished with "Hot, Flat, and Crowded" -- the book.  I got so depressed after reading the first half (that details the prognosis without radical action) that I put it down for a while.  It is definitely worth reading, and corrects a big deficit in Friedman's "World is Flat," where he barely mentioned the whole problem of sending items across the globe and selling them for bargain basement prices.

on Friday, November 21 2008, 11:52am

@myzticrhythmz@evpl: I was thinking of checking this out, so your recommendation has pushed me to do it!  We have it available as an OverDrive downloadable audiobook at  I checked it out, but there's still one copy left!

@MediaPhile@evpl: I know what you mean. I recently watched "An Inconvenient Truth" for the first about depressing!

lotech@evpl wrote
on Friday, November 21 2008, 1:43pm

It's too bad our good energy intentions caused by the 1973 Oil Crisis evaporated as that particular crisis faded.

on Friday, November 21 2008, 1:43pm

It took me a while to get through as well, even on abridged audio. And like *The World is Flat,* there are so many facts and ideas that sometimes it's just nicer to see it in print at your leisure.

on Monday, December 1 2008, 3:46pm

I am now listening to the audiobook, and it is quite fascinating.

Thomas Friedman was on The Colbert Report a couple of weeks ago.  Of course, Stephen let em have it!