Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Why We Need a Green Revolution - And How it Can Renew America. http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/bookshelf/hot-flat-and-crowded

Thomas L. Friedman's no. 1 bestseller The World Is Flat has helped millions of readers to see globalization in a new way. Now Friedman brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy—both of which could poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively. His argument speaks to all of us who are concerned about the state of America in the global future.

NB: great interview on Fresh Air; it is the first link on Friedman's media page.

Good podcast: Tom Friedman interviewed by Steve Mirsky for Scientific American's "Science Talk" podcast.

Our work processing take-aways in Friedman:

How does Friedman argue in Chapter I that "green" is a new form of generating national power?

With regard to the five key problems in Chapter 2 of the Energy-Climate Era: 1) energy supply and demand; 2) petrodictatorship; 3) climate-change; 4) energy poverty; 5) biodiversity loss; how does Friedman's resilient mindset consider these problems as opportunities?

Since Chapter 3 involves the flat and crowded factors, be sure that you are comfortable with TF's three major terms: Hot, Flat and Crowded now. Can you express them in your own words?

Also, the "cradle to cradle" concept on p. 70 is just one specific example of a solution/innovation which is also an opportunity for future Americans. What do you think of "eliminating the concept of waste"? William McDonough's website; the "Cradle to Cradle"community forum.

Chapter 9: at the start of this chapter in the third paragraph, Friedman explains again the two parts of his thesis. Let's celebrate, as does Friedman, the resilient mindset of a problem solver: "I love that description--a series of great opportunities disguised as insoluble problems. In a few words it [this mindset] captures perfectly how we [the US] should move approach the future" (170). What do you believe is the most important and useful solution for us to present?

Class Challenge:

"HOT, FLAT, AND CROWDED has seventeen chapters. What's Chapter 18? Chapter 18 will be a completely new chapter that I'll add to the next edition of the book: Version 2.0. In it I hope to include the best ideas and proposals sent in from readers: ideas about clean energy, energy efficiency, and conservation; about petropolitics and nation-building in America; about how we can help take the lead in the renewal of our country and the Earth alike by going Code Green. I am eager for your suggestions -- please post them here."

High Noon: 20 Global Issues, 20 Years to Solve Them
by J. F. Rischard. 241 pgs.

Sea Change (poetry): http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780061537172/Sea_Change/index.aspx The New York Times has said that "Jorie Graham's poetry is among the most sensuously embodied and imaginative writing we have," and this new collection is a reminder of how startling, original, and deeply relevant her poetry is. In Sea Change, Graham brings us to the once-unimaginable threshold at which civilization as we know it becomes unsustainable. How might the human spirit persist, caught between its abiding love of beauty, its acknowledgment of continuing injury and damage done, and the realization that the existence of a "future" itself may no longer be assured? Times Book Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/06/books/review/Longenbach-t.html

HIstorical Context to Global Warming:

The Great Warming http://www.bloomsburyusa.com/Catalogue/featured.asp?cf=0
The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Brian Fagan
From the tenth to the fifteenth centuries the earth experienced a rise in surface temperature that changed climate worldwide—a preview of today’s global warming. In some areas, including Western Europe, longer summers brought bountiful harvests and population growth that led to cultural flowering. In the Arctic, Inuit and Norse sailors made cultural connections across thousands of miles as they traded precious iron goods. Polynesian sailors, riding new wind patterns, were able to settle the remotest islands on earth. But in many parts of the world, the warm centuries brought drought and famine. Elaborate societies in western and central America collapsed, and the vast building complexes of Chaco Canyon and the Mayan Yucatan were left empty.

The Worst Hard Time: Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bow l. From The New Yorker
On April 14, 1935, the biggest dust storm on record descended over five states, from the Dakotas to Amarillo, Texas. People standing a few feet apart could not see each other; if they touched, they risked being knocked over by the static electricity that the dust created in the air. The Dust Bowl was the product of reckless, market-driven farming that had so abused the land that, when dry weather came, the wind lifted up millions of acres of topsoil and whipped it around in "black blizzards," which blew as far east as New York. This ecological disaster rapidly disfigured whole communities. Egan's portraits of the families who stayed behind are sobering and far less familiar than those of the "exodusters" who staggered out of the High Plains. He tells of towns depopulated to this day, a mother who watched her baby die of "dust pneumonia," and farmers who gathered tumbleweed as food for their cattle and, eventually, for their children.
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