Review: Thomas Friedman's 'Hot Flat and Crowded'

623 Words3 Pages
In Hot, Flat and Crowded, Friedman makes multiple calls for imagination. In the first chapter, he makes the case that American innovation is critical to the future success of the nation. The leadership of the nation needs to lay out a broad vision for America's future, one that reflects the needs of the future rather than the needs of the past. This innovation leadership requires harnessing the imagination of America's youth, who remain optimistic despite the challenges that they are facing. In the second chapter, he expands on this idea, pointing out that over the past couple of decades there have been many ideas put forth to address the challenges of the future, especially with respect to energy. Arguably, imagination plays a role in developing these ideas, and fleshing them out, but it also plays a role in the acceptance of these ideas as well. He makes the point that instead of embracing the challenge of change, America is "doubling-down on our old energy-guzzling model", something that is going to bring the country crashing against a wall when this energy becomes unavailable or unaffordable even to Americans. This approach, where green solutions to problems are invariably drowned out by conventional development, reflects a lack of imagination, and is therefore contrary to the best long-run interests of the country. In Chapter 6, Friedman discusses how to imagine the problems facing the world and the United States. "Imagine what would happen to us or to our lives and

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