Hot Flat and Crowded 2008 by Thomas L Friedman

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Friedman argues that most people are striving to live a middle-class type of life which allows them to afford a car, a house, a cell phone, and an air conditioner (31). With that many people using that much energy, the global supply for energy is not sustainable.The long term effects of these problems is that excessive energy use leads to climate change, robs the environment of its biodiversity, and widens the economic gap between the rich and the poor. Fundamentally, the world is becoming a harsher place to live in. By 2050, Friedman writes that it will be too late to reverse the harm caused by globalization, population, growth, and excessive energy use (39). As such, the United States should lead the global population in coming up with viable solutions for this looming disaster. In Friedman’s opinion, the United States lost its focus after the 9/11 attacks and it is time that relevant powers work towards restoring the country’s national purpose (8). As it stands now, Friedman does not see the role played by the United States in bettering the world. In fact, Friedman writes that while Germany has been at the forefront in engineering and Sweden been the leader in terms of innovation, America has done nothing (3).Friedman’s thesis addresses the imminent effects of current issues such as climate change, rapid growth in population, and globalization on the United States and the world at large. Rather than focusing on the negative issues affecting the world at present and envisioning a bleak future, Friedman is optimistic that the energy crisis can be solved, poverty can be ended, and the world can overcome the negative effects of climate change. In essence, Friedman does not linger on recounting the problems facing the world but rather shifts his focus to how these problems can be solved. Friedman is convinced that the United States can set the pace for a green world with sustainable energy that will ensure economic, political, and