Essay on Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman

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Wesleyan University
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The book Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America, authored in 2008 by Friedman presents some issues that affect America. Will well-thought ideas and personal views, Friedman discusses three problems facing America and its role globally. The author is worried about the impact of the internet and other technologies since Americans will be outsourced and earn less as non-Americans continue to benefit from the internet in acquiring jobs. He believes that crowding will is a major challenge in America due to the effects of overpopulation. As people become many, they demand more resources that even lead to consumption of the non-renewable resources. The author believes that the U.S is the potential source of salvation for the world from global warming menace. The U.S has the role of leading other countries to embrace green energy to promote major global advancements. Through his book, Thomas Friedman presents three major issues facing America, the economy becoming more globalized, the world is becoming overpopulated and global warming is a menace as represented by the terms flat, crowded and hot respectively.

Friedman explains the state of the United States globally in comparison to China whereby the U.S builds many stores to sell Chinese made products. The author provides a simplistic view of the business relationship between Chinese producers and consumers and the American consumers which are complicated. Americans built more stores to specifically sell products manufactured by the Chinese industries particularly powered by amounts of coal (Friedman 5). The sails gave China funds to invest in the United States Treasury bills that triggered the Federal Reserve increase credits to commercial institutions, businesses, and consumers. Americans bought valuable items such as homes and drove valuable products that made them think they have a lot of wealth little did they know that they owned products made from China. Supreme loans and mortgages given to people with precarious credit and low incomes as based on home prices will never experience a reduction. Mortgages were sold to financial firms in bulk, and thousands of them were put together and sold as mortgage-backed up securities around the world (10).

Friedman provides a comprehensive overview of the fall of the Soviet Union and the great technical American Achievements. During the fall of the Soviet Union, America gained a sense of entitlement and became complacent that eroded its traditional principles. It also lost its national priorities and principles to increased involvement on global issues. Baby boomers ignored adopting economic principles of the parents that include saving, working hard and living within their measures (30). America had one of the reckless fiscal policies characterized by high consumer debts, lowering its taxes while pursuing two major wars, deregulation of Reaganism and drop of national savings that dropped to almost zero during the tenure of George W. Bush.

Friedman is critical due to Americas lack of sustainability that leads to decrease in resources at a period when everyone needs these resources from the shrinking environment. Friedman, presents key problems that intensify the well-being of the U.S. the author believes that competition is real in the world that would result to scarcity that would eventually lead to authoritarian governments and wars. He relates sustainability to freedom and believes that they are essential in the life of a human being (52). Amongst the key problems intensified by Friedman include the disruptive climate change, massive move of wealth to countries rich in oil and their ruthless leaders, increasing demand for scarce natural resources and energy supplies, acceleration to biodiversity loss and energy poverty that significantly divides the world. He talks about the worlds economic flattening and accounts for the vast economic booms for the past two decades (88). The book primary focuses on Middle East dictatorship and how American government funded other governments opposed to its value system and now have acquired the leverage of opposing reforms, and petro-dictators acquired an edge in spreading their ideas to other countries (113). He explores the political impact of the Americas oil addiction and global warming politics. The book argues that there is a clear connection between how carbon IV oxide and climate connected to the earth systems. With the case of Greenland ice sheet, he presents scientific studies with scientific evidence that lasted for over 150,000 years (140). Friedman goes into detail to explain how carbon IV oxide emissions and climate are related to the earth systems and discusses the loss biodiversity and its effects. Scientists have discovered more than 1.7 million species of animals, plants, and microorganisms (182). However, these living things experience many threats that can mainly be attributed to comprehensive factors. For instance, the poorest people in the world try making a living by using the natural systems surrounding them.

Thomas Friedman focuses on the world and explores the contemporary issues facing the world ranging from poverty, going green, electrical system, and green energy for globalization. Uneven distribution of energy around the world is the primary reason for the increased high levels of energy poverty. Globally, there are high levels of uneven distribution of energy hindering globalization efforts due to insufficient energy (205). For instance, Netherland alone today produces more electric power than the whole of the African Sub-Saharan region in exclusion of South Africa (211). The author talks about the greatness of America and how its children and grandchildren will assume to be the biggest generation. He is too focused and narrow-minded and focuses on the greatness of the American children and grandchildren to save the world. Friedman discusses how the world can go green in an effort of saving it from the increased environmental problems (242). He explores the use of electricity, and its pricing in the U. S., its regulations and proposes a smart grid for pricing. Friedman explores a discussion of how green energy would become the next big global issue and brings in the need for price incentives if firms have to embrace the innovation to lower carbon IV oxide (272).

Friedman concludes his book by writing a comprehensive comparison between the United States and China. He considers China as red and presents an argument if the Red China can turn green. He criticizes China as being a democratic China or Banana China as his assertations present China as one of the countries unvigilant towards better business practices that support sustainability. Friedman is more focused on the American issues and its role in the then world. Through his book, he discusses his worries on the American that range from environmental, political and economic issues.



Friedman, Thomas L. Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. Print.


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