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Hot, Flat and Crowded by Tom Friedman

Hot, Flat and Crowded lays out the aspirational revolution for renewable energy -- the Energy Technology industrial revolution

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Hot, Flat and Crowded
Tom Friedman

"We’ve developed bad habits that have weakened our ability to take on big challenges," says Friedman.

"In an interview by Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press., Friedman identified ET as the new wave of innovation that will help reclaim US leadership across the world as everyone struggles with energy challenges, climate change and growing populations.

World has a problem that is it is hot – climate change, flat – rising middle class, and crowded – population.

"We've lost our way since 9-11. We need to take the lead to solving this problem," the noted trends author concludes.

Friedman feels that ET (Energy Technology) will replace IT as the frontier of industry. Inventing renewable energy vs drilling should be the center of our focus. The energy revolution will be the next great industrial revolution. The country that dominates that economic revolution – that industry - will have the most security, the most respect, the most competitive industries, and the most healthy populations. "I want that to be our country."

We need 100,000 people experimenting in 100,000 garages coming up with ideas, 100 might be promising and 2 might be the next Google. That's the clarion call for innovation.

"We’re in a dead end alley," Friedman said. "We’re on the eve of the Energy Technology revolution."

GE's JEffrey Immelt expresses exasperation because he's been trying to lead the way with energy innovation, but the market hasn't responded consistently.

Friedman sees the pathway being one of leadership, "We need to set the right standards. Right prices, the right regulations. Shape the market so it will be innovative."

"Young Chinese say to me, 'You were dirty for 150 years, it’s our turn. I say…go as dirty as you like, we just need 5 years to create the clean technologies to make the earth livable for man. And we’ll clean you clock!

"We need an earth race to make the earth livable for man…like the space race."

Did $5 gas get Americans attention? Price works. Consumers responded by buying different cars, commuters using public transportation.

Industry needs a price signal. A carbon tax. Durable long term price signal. They need to know that the market will be there. Companies an’t make a multi year bet on a 15 minute market. Small startups have to know the market will be there.

"The book is a clarion call to make our country the leader of renewable energy, ET," says Brokaw.

The US needs to set an aspirational goal and back it up with legislation that requires a standard amount of solar and wind energy by a designated year.

ET can be the next technology revolution, a "series of incredible opportunities disguised as insoluable problems," -- Tom Gardner

"The booster rocket in this industrial revolution needs to be the government and it’s cracked. We're living on borrowed time and borrowed dimes. We need to get back to work on our country and our planet. The hour is late, the project couldn’t be more important and the payoff couldn’t be greater.

"If climate change is a hoax it’s the greatest ever perpetrated on the US – because everything we would do to get ready for climate change, to build this new green industry will make us more respected, more entrepreneurial, more competitive, more healthy as a country .

Brokaw calls the book, "A textbook study of what is going on in the world today and the real possibility of doing it."



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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