THE BLOG
12/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What to Read While Waiting for Election Day: Thomas Friedman's Flat, Hot, and Crowded

Was Al Gore too optimistic? When Gore sounded the alarm in An Inconvenient Truth, some sneered at what they called his "gloom and doom" predictions. Well, Tom Friedman says the population is rising and the climate is changing much faster than Gore's projections.

If you are ready to read something important, pick up Thomas Friedman's new book, Flat, Hot, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution -- and How It Can Renew America. He spoke at Book Passage in Corte Madera California yesterday and he wowed a crowd of over 500 people with his perfectly presented arguments

Friedman spoke of the coming ET (Energy Technology) revolution. The country that figures out ET is going to be the most powerful, most respected and most prosperous. He says that country has to be the United States of America. He doesn't advocate government doing all this -- American businesses, inventors, and entrepreneurs are crucial. In the book he lays out the issues as well as giving us the prescription for regulation and innovation that can and must solve this energy dependency.

So far, he told our audience of liberal Marin County recyclers, the Green Revolution has been no revolution at all. It's been more of a party -- no one is sacrificing. When the price of oil goes down, consumption tends to go back up and the world's petro-dictators become stronger. He showed charts with facts to back up his correlations. The audience was riveted. The man knows how to make the most wonky stuff fascinating.

In answer to a question from the audience about the burden higher fuel prices place on the poor and middle class, he said he favors a floor on the price of gasoline (so we will keep conserving) but combined with a payroll tax rebate for the financial relief for workers.

When a college student asked what we can realistically do to change government, he pointed out that Exxon and other huge energy companies don't have friends on FaceBook. They don't need that. Instead, the powerful meet their friends in the congressional cloakroom. We have to get to our elected officials and insist on the changes that will move America into the premier spot in the ET revolution

As I watched Obama being interviewed on Rachel Maddow show last week, I thought perhaps he'd read Friedman's book. In case he hasn't had time to read it yet, let's help him to win on Tuesday and then ask him to read Hot, Flat and Crowded before it's too late for our country and our planet.

We have a limited number of autographed copies of Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat, and Crowded at www.bookpassage.com