Hot, Flat, and Crowded Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman
11,314 ratings, 3.67 average rating, 1,404 reviews
Hot, Flat, and Crowded Quotes (showing 1-6 of 6)
“At the end of the day, no amount of investing, no amount of clean electrons, no amount of energy efficiency will save the natural world if we are not paying attention to it - if we are not paying attention to all the things that nature give us for free: clean air, clean water, breathtaking vistas, mountains for skiing, rivers for fishing, oceans for sailing, sunsets for poets, and landscapes for painters. What good is it to have wind-powered lights to brighten the night if you can't see anything green during the day? Just because we can't sell shares in nature doesn't mean it has no value.”
Thomas L. Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America
“So what am I? I guess I would call myself a sober optimist...If you are not sober about the scale of the challenge, then you are not paying attention. But if you are not an optimist, you have no chance of generating the kind of mass movement needed to achieve the needed scale.”
Thomas L. Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America
“The poverty fighters resent the climate-change folks; climate folks hold summits without reference to biodiversity; the food advocates resist the biodiversity protectors.
They all need to go on safari together.”
Thomas L. Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America
“Sustainability is today’s freedom crusade, because the next generation will not live free—will not have the freedom to pursue its economic dreams or to delight in all that nature has to offer—if our approach to the financial world and the natural are not grounded in sustainable values. That lack of sustainability will constrict everything in our lives. It will limit everything we might want to do. Unless we become less dependent on hydrocarbons, and unless we find a balance between the need for markets to be free enough to reward innovation and risk-taking but not so free as to reward recklessness that can destabilize the whole global economy, our lives will be reduced, redacted, and restricted. We will be overwhelmed by all the toxic assets we will produce in the Market and in Mother Nature. It will feel worse than had the Soviet Union won the Cold War, because we and our children will be enslaved by our financial debts and constricted by our ecological debts.”
Thomas L. Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America
“So what then is “climate change”? As the WMO defines it, “climate change refers to a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer).” The important thing to keep in mind here is that the climate changes because it is forced to change. And it is forced to change either by natural forces or by forces introduced by mankind. In other words, the climate varies naturally because of its own complex internal dynamics, but it changes because something forces it to change. The most important natural forces inducing climate change are changes in the earth’s orbit—which change the intensity of the sun’s radiation hitting different parts of the earth, which changes the thermal energy balance of the lower atmosphere, which can change the climate. Climate change, scientists know, can also be triggered by large volcanic eruptions, which can release so many dust particles into the air that they act as an umbrella and shield the earth from some of the sun’s radiation, leading to a cooling period. The climate can be forced to change by natural, massive releases of greenhouses gases from beneath the earth’s surface—gases, like methane, that absorb much more heat than carbon dioxide and lead to a sudden warming period. What is new about this moment in the earth’s history is that the force driving climate change is not a change in the earth’s orbit, not a volcanic eruption, not a sudden natural release of greenhouse gases—but the burning of fossil fuels, the cultivation of rice and livestock, and the burning and clearing of forests by mankind, which together are pumping carbon dioxide, methane, and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere a hundred times faster than nature normally does.”
Thomas L. Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America
“Get used to it. The weather may feel like science fiction, but the science underlying it is very real and mundane. It takes only a small increase in global average temperatures to have a big effect on weather, because what drives the winds and their circulation patterns on the surface of the earth are differences in temperature. So when you start to change the average surface temperature of the earth, you change the wind patterns—and then before you know it, you change the monsoons. When the earth gets warmer, you also change rates of evaporation—which is a key reason we will get more intense rainstorms in some places and hotter dry spells and longer droughts in others. How can we have both wetter and drier extremes at the same time? As we get rising global average temperatures and the earth gets warmer, it will trigger more evaporation from the soil. So regions that are already naturally dry will tend to get drier. At the same time, higher rates of evaporation, because of global warming, will put more water vapor into the atmosphere, and so areas that are either near large bodies of water or in places where atmospheric dynamics already favor higher rates of precipitation will tend to get wetter. We know one thing about the hydrologic cycle: What moisture goes up must come down, and where more moisture goes up, more will come down. Total global precipitation will probably increase, and the amount that will come down in any one storm is expected to increase as well—which will increase flooding and gully washers. That’s why this rather gentle term “global warming” doesn’t capture the disruptive potential of what lies ahead. “The popular term ‘global warming’ is a misnomer,” says John Holdren. “It implies something uniform, gradual, mainly about temperature, and quite possibly benign. What is happening to global climate is none of those. It is uneven geographically. It is rapid compared to ordinary historic rates of climatic change, as well as rapid compared to the adjustment times of ecosystems and human society. It is affecting a wide array of critically important climatic phenomena besides temperature, including precipitation, humidity, soil moisture, atmospheric circulation patterns, storms, snow and ice cover, and ocean currents and upwellings. And its effects on human well-being are and undoubtedly will remain far more negative than positive. A more accurate, albeit more cumbersome, label than ‘global warming’ is ‘global climatic disruption.’ ”
Thomas L. Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America

All Quotes
Quotes By Thomas L. Friedman
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game