Book by Thomas L. Friedman
Review by Giselle Carr
Issue 3 Spring 2010
This book takes its name from the three forces — global warming (hot), globalization combined with more equal distribution of wealth (flat) and population growth (crowded) — that are currently converging to exacerbate the four key problems of petrodictatorship, climate change, biodiversity loss and energy poverty. Friedman proposes that not only is America the main reason for this situation, but also the country that must begin the revolution in creating a more sustainable system of living.
Friedman divides the book into five parts, beginning with Where We Are, then continuing with How We Got Here, which offers insight into the history of economic, political and environmental practices that brought us to this point, and finally, How We Move Forward which provides a roadmap of solutions. He concludes the book with case study sections on China and America to compare and contrast different approaches to these issues and to challenge both nations to look more closely at each other’s best practices.
Hot, Flat and Crowded provides the strategic designer with inspiration, thought-provoking insights and a fresh perspective on the current norms of “green” thinking (It is important to note that Friedman proposes the elimination of the term “green” entirely, since he argues that all business and economic practices should be sustainable). This is an informative and enriching read.