The Book Hot Flat and Crowded written by Thomas Friedman is a book that shows many problems both with the United States and the world today. Each of these problems has the potential to forever change the world. In fact, some of them have already made significant changes. Hot describes the climate change or global warming that the world is experiencing. Flat explains the globalization of marketplaces that is occurring. Crowded depicts the rapid population growth that is occurring which is causing a growing competition for resources. Friedman claims that these three facets are converging in a way that is making our planet dangerously unstable.
The book is broken into five separate sections which all have a few subsections. The first major section is “Where We Are.” This first subsection in this section is “Where Birds Don’t Fly.” Friedman claims that America has gotten distracted from the war on terror, and consequentially, America has been losing its reputation as a world power. Friedman outlines this belief in the following quote from page fourteen: “Because a place where birds don’t fly is a place where people don’t mix, ideas don’t get sparked, friendships don’t get forged, stereotypes don’t get broken, collaboration doesn’t happen, trust doesn’t build, and freedom doesn’t ring. This is not the kind of place we want America to be.” Friedman goes on to say that America needs to once again garner global leadership. Also, Friedman claims that green is the best way for America to accomplish this. America must have a national goal of creating energy that does not put harmful pollutants in the air. The next subsection of “Where We Are” is “Today’s Date 1 E.C.E.” This section focuses on how the three facets (hot, flat, and crowded) are converging. The book explains how the world is rapidly becoming crowded. In 1953, there were approximately 2.7 billion people in the world, and by 2053, there is expected to be more than 9 billion people. Flat, the book describes, has led to an increasing middle class. This occurred because mainly because the internet has made it easy for every individual to get the same resources for cheaper prices. In addition, it allows businesses to outsource work. While this move has brought millions out of poverty, it has caused an increased demand for energy and natural resources which results in more greenhouse-gas emissions. Finally, hot exemplifies how the planet has been experiencing a warming trend. The convergence of hot, flat, and crowded has led to these problems; energy and natural resources supply and demand, petrodictatorship, climate change, energy poverty, and biodiversity loss. The first problem energy supply and demand describes how their will continue to be more demand for energy and a smaller supply which means higher prices for oil and other energy sources. Petrodictatorship explains how energy consuming countries (such as the US) transfer much of their wealth to energy producing countries (such as those in the OPEC). As a result of global warming, climate change is wreaking havoc on the world in the form of natural disasters such as hurricanes. Energy poverty helps to describe those individuals who do not have energy, and consequentially, these people suffer. Biodiversity loss refers to the destruction of ecosystems and potential eradication of entire species. Obviously, these problems need to be addressed soon.
The next major part of the book is labeled “How We Got Here.” The first sub-group in this part is “Our Carbon Copies (or, Too Many Americans).” The fact is that Americans have been consuming more energy and emitting more carbon dioxide than the rest of the world for a long time. However, now many people around the world are following in America’s footsteps. Many other individual’s are now beginning to consume just as much energy as Americans; thus, the reason why these individuals are called American carbon copies. If the world continues to...
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