Book Reviews

Book review: Hot, Flat and Crowded Release 2.0.

Thomas Friedman, an award-winning author and columnist of New York Times, has been an advocate of “green technologies” for a long time and believes that the U.S.A. can be a leader in this industry.

In this extremely well researched book, the author provides several examples about government policy inconsistencies i.e sugar can alcohol (a clean burning fuel) is taxed at 54 cents a gallon, whereas crude oil from Saudi Arabia at 1.25 cents per gallon, and a Prius car, which goes farther on the equivalent of a gallon of fuel is considerably more expensive than an conventional car that uses gasoline. Prius should be subsidized if the government were serious about global warming.

Here is another gem about U.S army in Iraq. Practically, all offices are equipped with conventional air conditioners wasting fuel. When the Americans leave, all will be sold to Iraqis at less than cost to continue the endless waste of energy.

The author provides cogent analysis of the most important developments in the last five decades, not only by looking at recorded information, but also through this expeditions in remote locations – the Amazons, Greenland, just to name two, and by interviewing scientists intimately involved in matters of green revolution.

Consider the fact that the world is four billion years old, and life has been existing on the planet for a little more than two billion ears, On average species might live one million years and then go extinct, but in the last 10 million years specie extinction accelerated, and more so since the industrial Revolution that started in the middle of the 19th century.

He reports, based on his research trips, that Chinese are investing more in energy conservation and exploring for “green” alternatives i.e wind turbines, and solar panels, than more technology advanced U.S.A.

According to him, the U.S.A should and could be the absolute “green technology” developed and leader of the world if only the government would provide the right incentives and legislate mandatory car efficiency rules and regulations.

The narrative flows beautifully and the information provided is overwhelming. Overwhelmingly negative examples of waste are cited are based on personal observations, and suggestions provided to stress how technologically advanced western countries could reduce and even reverse energy waste by investing in green alternatives.

This is an excellent book to study and get involved in energy conservation and innovation to save the world for use and the future.

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