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Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It Can Renew America

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  13,358 ratings  ·  1,508 reviews
In this brilliant, essential book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman speaks to America's urgent need for national renewal and explains how a green revolution can bring about both a sustainable environment and a sustainable America.

Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the expansion of the world’s middle class through globali
Hardcover, First Edition, 438 pages
Published September 8th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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(C+) 67% | Almost Satisfactory
Notes: Convincing arguments, but terribly aggravating when endlessly quoting numbers and painting doomsday scenarios.
Oct 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own, non-fiction
I haven't finished this book, but I feel like there are a few examples that if I don't get down, I will forget, and they illustrate how I feel about this book well.

First off, I'd like to mention that if this was a fiction book, it would get one star. Having recently ventured into the nonfiction category more and more, and having been so pleased with Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, and Bob Woodward, I took a recommendation and bought this hefty little bugger.

What I wasn't expecting is that the style w
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book shows Tom Friedman at the top of his game. Friedman is always good at eliciting insightful information from a vast number of interviews. The task he sets for himself here could be daunting to others: integrate the global economic revolution with the climate change evolution and this world's burgeoning population in order to view realistically the options for our species. The fact that his solution is not simple but compelling adds to the value of the book, but even if he were only to s ...more
If you know a fair amount already about the current ecological/environmental situation of our world, I recommend skimming if not skipping the entire first half of the book. As for the second half, Friedman has good points about how to change policy, encourage technology, etc. to solve our problems. However, my biggest issue with this book is how talky it was. 100 pages easily could have been trimmed off the four-hundred pages. Friedman likes examples and anectdotes, LOTS of them. I often found t ...more
Oct 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: concerned citizens
Not a quick read to take to the beach on a summer afternoon, but the topic and ideas presented are too important to ignore. People sometimes quickly dismiss books about environmental issues, assuming it will lead to the condemning of science, technology, and societal advances, instead proposing a regression toward a simpler 1800's style lifestyle. What makes the book different to me is that Friedman has researched and described solutions which exist, have been proven, make both environmental as ...more
Nov 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, 2008
In two words; we're screwed.

I had a feeling this was the case but this book really paints a vivid picture of our screw'dness. According to Friedman all the stars really need to align, and fast, in order for us (humans) to reverse global warming and not go extinct. Here's what needs to happen:

1.) The US needs to get our heads out of our pants and start pumping tons of money (both private and public) into green energy.

2.) The US needs to enstate a gas floor so that gas prices cannot go below say
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
After half a dozen false starts, I've figured out that I don't have a clever way to summarize Friedman's environmental opus; Hot, Flat and crowded. But I did find that in my read-through I'd marked ten sections I found particularly illuminating and so with apologies to David Letterman I'd like to present my review using Friedman's own words, with some editing.

The top ten quotes that indicate Hot, Flat, and Crowded is worth a read.

#10. "15 to 20 percent of all primates have been described by scie
Oct 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Much as Michael Pollan’s In the Defense of Food was a logical sequel to The Omnivore’s Dilemma, this latest current affairs book by Friedman is the logical next-step after reading The World is Flat, Friedman’s last treatise on the nature of a post-industrial world in which brain-power and a better educated populace will define the future of the world. In this passionately articulated follow-up, Friedman details and argues for a green revolution that needs to take hold of America if it hopes to r ...more
K.D. Absolutely
My second time to read a book by Thomas L. Friedman (born 1953). He is an American columnist (New York Times Foreign Affairs), journalist and author. The first book I read by him was The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (tbr) but I was not able to finish it because a former colleague borrowed and did not return it. But since the world is flat, I hope the book will find its way back to me. Hah.

Anyway, Friedman still discusses globalization (main theme of The World is Fla
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book states what is wrong with the energy world and ways to fix it. Mr. Friedman correctly addresses the energy issues as problematic. The best information in this book is his terrorist causing theory. He states that Saudi Arabian extremely wealthy oil barrens are responsible for funding Al-Qaeda and other anti-western terrorist organizations while Americans are paying the salaries of these wealthy Saudi’s through high oil prices. He argues that when oil prices are low there are far less te ...more
brian tanabe
Sep 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
I thought I would have questions about a journalist's ability to effectively write on the subject of sustainability (given that he cut his teeth on the Middle East) -- but that presupposition proved false. I thought perhaps Friedman's attempt would get bogged down by anecdote, too encumbered with trying to prove his point -- but here too he did not fail. And yet in the end I fear the warning bell he wishes to ring will not be heard by enough... or rather will not move enough of us, create enough ...more
Aug 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book a couple of days ago, and I would have reported on it sooner, but I've been busy becoming a more responsible citizen. A quick inventory revealed that I still had a few incandescent bulbs around the house, which I've now changed out for energy-efficient CFLs. I've been pricing hybrid cars, and by this time next week, will have traded in both our family Tauruses for cars that get twice the mileage.

If only every adult in America would read Hot, Flat, and Crowded. The author, wh
Sep 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: pol
Ever since 'From Beirut to Jerusalem' (the best book, bar none, on the Middle East), I have read Tom Friedman's books ('Longitudes and Attitudes', 'Lexus and Olive Tree', 'The World is Flat') and I felt the same: he basically rewrites his NYT column, in a somewhat diluted and less focussed way, adds a few examples and boom: new book.
This one does not escape this think-lite approach (and BTW most of the ideas come straight out of Obama's New Energy program, published online last year. The sincere
Valerie Curtis
"In what free market would you find the U.S. government slapping a 54-cent-a-gallon tariff on sugarcane ethanol imported from Brazil, a democratic ally of the United States, while imposing only a 1.25-cent-a-gallon tariff on crude oil imported from Saudi Arabia, the home of most of the 9/11 hijackers?" This and a few other juicy quotes have me cringing and ready to protest.

So much has changed in the 19 years since this book came out, but so much has stayed the same. Mr. Friedman has a unique wa
Oct 03, 2013 rated it liked it
A little verbose and definitely repetitive at times, but a very solid argument nevertheless. I enjoyed reading this one and am curious to see if America will embrace the "greener" political path outlined in this novel. If you're interested in the future of our world, particularly pertaining to global warming, biodiversity, or just alternate forms of energy, then this is a must-read. ...more
A Man Called Ove
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"We have exactly enough time-starting now." - late environmentalist Dana Meadows
4.5/5 In this book 3-times Pulitzer winner Shri Shri Shri Friedman talks on green energy. The first half of the book is about the various aspects of the problem, and the second half of policy solutions and how the world has chosen to ignore the problem. In particular, he is severe on his home country USA.
This was my 2nd book by the author and I wonder if any1 gets the bigger global picture better than him ! As with "
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Dark, depressing yet true.
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone should read it
Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman

This book alternately scares the hell out of me and gives me hope for the possibilities in innovation and science that could one day stem the tide of carbon emissions that are hurting our planet and killing my friends the polar bears.

At the risk of giving it too much credit, this is a book that everyone should read. From the title, “hot” refers to global warming, which, Friedman suggests, is really more like “global weirding”, giving rise to droughts i
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Oh my god, if I see another contrived 12-letter acronym or infuriating catchphrase being hammered home for the umpteenth time, I might do something terrible. It's as if Friedman is a too-patient schoolteacher trying to explain the alphabet to a bunch of english majors that he has mistaken for wayward children. While this style is helpful for convincing fence-sitters, perhaps, there are so many anecdotes and repetitions that the book is just way longer than it should be. In fact, I'm not even sur ...more
Adam McCain
Jan 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I only read half of this book.

Easily the worst non fiction book I have read.

The first portion of the book devotes itself to describing the laundry list of Friedman's fears; the link between oil money and radical Islam, Chinese and Indian growth, global warming, and America's stagnant relationship with green energy. Instead of focusing on any one of these topics that some authors spend careers focusing on Friedman decided to take all of them on at once. The effect of this being that he fails to g
Theresa Leone Davidson
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure why I read books like this as they are scarier than any horror novel, and if I'd ever wanted children, I sure could NOT read them, as the future for the world's children is, indeed, a bleak one. Friedman makes the argument that species loss, deforestation, economic growth around the world, energy use, petropolitics, and global warming are all interconnected, and while he lays down in very specific terms a way we can deal with it all, the backbone it will take for the world's leaders ...more
Feb 24, 2012 rated it liked it
About half of this book did not age particularly well. It was published in 2009, so much of the information is a little outdated and a portion of the author's visions of the future did not come to pass. Nobody is talking about a hot, flat, and crowded world much, I imagine, to the author's chagrin since he used the phrase about a billion times throughout the book. Further, I have never heard anyone use the term E.C.E. (for Energy-Climate Era) as a dating system or discuss the First Law of Petrop ...more
Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody who cares about foreign policy or economic/industriatl competitiveness
Shelves: economics, politics
What Tomas Friedman has to say in this book is very important--and very interesting. He shows how the "green revolution" is important to much more than our environment. It is important as an opportunity for a new set of industries that is ready to be grabbed by the country with the best energy policies. It is important as a tool of foreign policy, for weakening the hold of tyrannical despots in oil-rich countries.

However, Thomas Friedman's writing style is not first-class. It is too verbose, too
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Tom Friedman applies his knowledge of the IT revolution and Middle Eastern petropolitics to the emerging world of cleantech, or, as he likes to call it, Energy Technology (ET). If you've been reading his columns since "The World is Flat" there isn't much new here, but he does synthesize it all very well. Each chapter is like a very long, well-reasoned op-ed, full of name dropping, matter-of-fact observation and trend spotting, which can really be read in any order. ...more
Preston Kutney
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I didn't agree with everything in this book, however I think it is an excellent, engaging primer for a lot of important issues facing the country. I think that every informed person should read this book or at least be familiar with topics such as energy independence, alternative energy sources and environmental leadership and innovation, which are covered in this book. ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
The more I read of this book, the less I liked it. First and foremost, it's pretty repetitive, particularly with regards to its catchphrase of a title. It's bad enough to be bludgeoned over the head with the phrase, "in a world that is hot, flat, and crowded" every few pages, but when you're 198 pages in, and you have to keep reiterating what those phrases mean (verbatim: "In a world that is hot--a world that is more and more affected by global warming..." ), perhaps they aren't as clever as you ...more
Warren Benton
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
America's oil addiction is funding extreme Islamist.  But we do not seem to care as long as when can still buy large trucks to drive to the grocery store in.  

 We could most likely name the 3 American Idol judges and not be able to name any American scientist. Pop-science is shunned upon So Scientist stay away from becoming popular. 

One term that was used instead of Global Warming, was Global weirding, not just things warming up, but things like dandelions in January. This winter I had to cut my
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Some believe that the danger of climate-change is real and imminent. It threatens to create havoc to mankind and all natural world. They try to paint such gory and dystopian future that intimidates even the strongest of people. Thomas L. Friedman is one of them. He devotes 400 odd pages with plethora of data talking about the cause, effect and potential solution to the climate change issues.

He harps on repeatedly how in our globalized world (flat) at a time when the population is spilling over i
Jeff Johnston
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
The world's population is growing and demanding energy. Lots and lots of energy.
Energy still being produced from 'dirty' sources. Sources that are taking it's toll on the health of the worlds biodiversity.
This book contains plenty of evidence that our species needs to stop mowing down rain forests and guzzling oil/coal. That ongoing strategies to immediately reduce carbon emissions and identify alternative sources of cheap, sustainable energy are required now if we wish to survive.
Failure to ad
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think that this is still an extremely important book. Unfortunately I read it about 10 years after it came out. I think that it should have been required reading for all of our congressmen and senators for the last 10 years. I think that our current president is acting in a fashion 180 degrees opposite to the policies that we need for our country to remain great and for our world to survive.

This is a book about climate change and some of the things that we will need to do to mitigate it and in
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Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and, columnist—the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of six bestselling books, among them From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World Is Flat.

Thomas Loren Friedman was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on July 20, 1953, and grew up in the middle-class Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. He is the son of Harold and Marga

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