I’ve had a go at reading Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why the World Needs a Green Revolution – and How We Can Renew Our Global Future by Thomas L. Friedman recently. I’ve researched the half-way point and have decided to stop – mainly because I don’t seem to be reading any further.
The first half concentrates on the ‘where we are’ and ‘how we got here’ issues, and the bit I’ve not quite got into concentrates on the ‘how we move forward’.
Friedman writes from the perspective of America, and the challenges that face the physical world and the economical world, so whilst it is helpful for someone in the UK to read, some of his commentary, especially the political thoughts isn’t so useful. However, he has some interesting comments on both India and China and their developing economies.
I’m not sure I agree with his thoughts around the world becoming flatter – I understand that globalisation has led to a change in the way information is shared and ideas are developed. Technology enables more people to interact with others, but I don’t see the gap between rich and poor shrinking, I see that widening, so I’m not sure how accurate it is to see the world as flattening.
Where Friedman is very strong is in the presentation of a wide range of very conclusive evidence over climate change and the worsening of the world that leaves even the most hardened sceptic engaged on the issue. My only negative is that when everyone else would use one or two pieces of evidence, he chooses to use ten. That makes this book very dense, and the reason I’m not going to make it to the end.