This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Award winning New York Times columnist and bestselling author Thomas Friedman has written with authority now about the biggest challenges facing Americans and the world. He writes, "the subprime mortgage mess and housing crisis are metaphors for what has come over America in recent years: A certain connection between hard work, achievement, and accountability has been broken. "
The argument for hot? Friedman makes the case for global warming more convincingly than Al Gore. He notes that 60% of people living in Montana would agree to change their lifestyle and pay higher taxes if it would lead to a decrease in climate change. Why? Because they're closer to the climate that's changing. The "flat" argument was already won in his previous bestseller. And the crowded? He writes, "In a world that is both flat and crowded, if we, as Americans, do not redefine what an American middle class lifestyle is - and invent the tools and spread the know-how that enable another two or three billion people to enjoy it in a more sustainable fashion - we will need to colonize three more planets."
I have learned more about the Middle East, the politics of oil, the issues that drive the people of that region from Tom Friedman than anyone else, and this book is no exception on that point. He asks, "is it an accident that the Arab world's first and only real democracy - Lebanon - also happens to be one of the few Arab states that never had a drop of oil?" And the case he makes for the green economy being poised to be the mother of all markets is compelling. This book should be required reading for all of us, particularly our political leaders. Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman.