Book Review – Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Joanna Schroeder

hot_flat_and_crowded1The other week I was meeting with Suzanne Shelton, President and CEO of the Shelton Group (you should check out their Energy Pulse research) and we were ruminating over how difficult it is to get through a Thomas Friedman book. I’ve been trying to finish Hot, Flat, and Crowded for several months and I’m proud to say, I’m finished! The effort was well worth it because Friedman has some great stuff in the book.

There is too much good info so I’m going to pick a few things that I think are insightful…for starters, “The Laws of Petropolitics.” The first law, “as the price of oil goes up, the pace of freedom goes down; and as the price of oil goes down, the pace of freedom goes up.”  The second law, “Today, you cannot be either an effective foreign policy realist or an effective democracy-promoting idealist without also being an effective energy saving environmentalist. 

In essence, we need to address our energy policy in conjunction with our environmental policy. The first step is to reduce our fossil fuel use – the greatest contributor to global climate change. Sorry, people, it looks like we’re ALL going green.

For the majority of the book, he focuses on the “Energy Climate Era” and “Code Green.” Code Green focuses on both the generation of a new kind of energy and preservation of the natural world. In short, Friedman argues, you cannot have a new energy plan without having a new environmental plan – they go hand-in-hand. Throughout the book, he talks about ways to simulate the kind of innovation we need in this new Energy Climate Era and that America needs to lead this “Green Revolution,” but we’ve barely begun. 

Now people (secret code name for the US government) just need to listen to him and implement some of his ideas. Let’s start a dialogue. If you’ve read his book and are working on things that are ways to stimulate the Energy Climate Era or Code Green let the readers know here at DomesticFuel.

book reviews, Miscellaneous