Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Will the world be flat, crowded, and hot?

Lots of buzz about The World is Flat author Thomas L. Friedman's new book, Hot, Flat and Crowded. And apparently lots of buzzwords within its text. I'm hoping to pick it up soon but for the time being, here are some reviews:

The director of the energy and sustainable development program at Stanford University and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, David G. Victor, calls the book a call to arms for an American-led green revolution in his recent NY Times article. It's hard to tell if that is his endorsement or criticism. From the article:

Mr. Friedman’s strength is his diagnosis of our energy and environmental nightmares. But blind spots appear when he turns to remedies. One is renewable power. Like most observers, Mr. Friedman assumes that the road out of today’s mess is studded with wind turbines and solar plants. Maybe that’s true, but maybe not. Such renewable resources account for only a tiny fraction of current power supply, and when the titans of today’s energy industry think about cutting carbon dioxide, they are more likely to imagine building carbon-free nuclear power plants or advanced coal plants that safely bury their pollution underground.

Victor's mention of carbon-free nuclear power plants has sparked my interest for the book he himself is writing on these subjects at hand. My father did a series of lectures across the country back in the 70s about nuclear energy that I'd hoped to retrieve the transcripts of but, unfortunately, I get the sense he's not too interested in jumping into eco-politics these days.

Gregg Easterbrook is less impressed with the book and takes a poke at Friedman's doomsday attitude in his review for Slate. But critics are by nature critical, right?

So thanks to the NY Times, you can read the first chapter of Hot, Flat, and Crowded here

1 comment:

Troy said...

New book club book??