SuperGenius writer Tom Friedman has a new book published today: “Hot, Flat and Crowded” — and it is a fantastic view into the future of the world and he explains how the USA needs to reposition its thinking and priorities in order to maintain a leadership role or risk getting left behind by rising powers like China and India.
The world is getting hotter due to global warming and industrialized nations polluting the atmosphere, Friedman argues, and the world is getting “flatter” as the differences between countries evens out across the globe, and as more people are born into the same space, and as life expectancies expand, we are running out of global elbow room for each other.
Friedman appeared on “Meet the Press” yesterday to discuss his book, and there were several nerve-shocking arguments he made that, when pondered for only a moment, make immense sense to the common mind.
First, Friedman says the path to a better and stronger America is to get away from foreign oil and create our own wind and solar power and to rely on the oceans of natural gas to power our country. It will take a long time to give up oil — and breaking that binding should be given the urgency of a national defense matter — so we need to start right now in making that transition and that path must be blazed and mandated by the federal government.
Friedman wishes the USA could be China for just one day — in order to force the “greening” of America. He was amazed how quickly China was able to clear their air for the Olympics by banning cars and closing factories. The USA needs that same sort of heavy-handed political brutality — just for a day — to jumpstart our greener economy and brighter future vision.
Tom Friedman reminded us how and why we leapt into a space race to the moon with Russia. That national effort was good for us and propelled our technology and led to innovation and invention. He said we need that same sort of national drive to be the greenest country in the world. By taking the innovative lead in energy tech, we will free the rest of the world by selling them our ideas and proven technology for application in their industrialized and expanding economy.
During the recent Republican National Convention, Friedman was bothered by the chant, “Drill, Drill, Drill!” when it came to drilling for oil in the United States. He argued drilling for oil is old technology and dangerous thinking and chanting “Drill” today is like chanting “IBM Selectric Typewriter!” during the rise of the Internet.
We need to change our national values and memes to reflect where we want to go and not where we have been. “We need to understand the next wave is ET and not IT,” Friedman said. “We led the world in Internet Technology and now we must do the same for Energy Technology.”
Friedman also wonders how we can ever be safe while we, as a nation, are so wholly indebted to the Middle East for oil. Our well-being solely depends upon their kindness to us and that does not make sense from a national security perspective.
We need a whole new way of thinking, and that must begin at home, and with the people. We must rise up and require those who lead us to take us along the path of higher learning and prescience so that we may finally be freed from the shackles of foreign influence and international commodities we do not own or control.
The beauty of Energy Technology is that it creates sovereignty and freedom at home while healing the earth — and using that tech edge, all nations will finally be able to sustain their own people and pay their own way just by transitioning to renewable resources like sun, wind, water and — with a little help from natural gas as the bridge into a greener future — we can all finally live free and breathe fresh air again.