Hot, Flat and Crowded: Exclusive Preview Excerpt

I posted last week on my excitement for Thomas Friedman’s new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded.  I received a comment notifying me that Thomas Friedman’s publisher is giving away the free audiobook of The World is Flat in anticipation of the release of his new book in September.  In addition to the audiobook, the publisher has posted an exclusive audio preview excerpt from chapter nine of the new book.

To download the mp3s, including the exclusive audio excerpt of Hot, Flat, and Crowded, go to http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/giveaway between now and August 11, 2008.

I listened to the excerpt, and from what I heard, I am excited for the full book.  Friedman highlights the difference between the current symbolic green movement and a truly systemic solution that would require “transformational green legislation.”

One of my favorite quotes from the excerpt is:

I am starting to believe that there actually can be too much publicity when it comes to climate change, especially when it reaches the fashion world. Seriously, if I read the word ‘eco-chic’ one more time, I’ll jab my eye out with my biodegradable pen. I just fear that as soon as all of the magazines get these green issues out of the way, they’ll feel like it’s out of their system, over and done with, like any other trend.

Click here for a video of Thomas Friedman talking about his new book at the Energy Efficiency Forum 2008.

I plan to blog more once I get my own copy of the book in September.

"Green Collar” Jobs

Thomas Friedman made several important points in his July 15th New York Times Op-Ed column. Friedman reminds us that U.S. manufacturing can still be competitive with the rest of the world if the industry focuses on smart technology.

What can many U.S. companies still manufacture? They can manufacture things that are smart — that have a lot of knowledge content in them, like a congestion pricing network for a whole city. What do many Chinese companies manufacturer? They manufacture things that can be made with a lot of cheap labor, like the rubber tires on your car. Which jobs are most easily outsourced? The ones vulnerable to cheap labor. Which jobs are hardest to outsource? Those that require a lot of knowledge.

Friedman states that higher green standards will require smarter technology. This opens the door for “Green Collar” jobs in both product design and manufacturing.

So what does all this mean? It means that to the extent that we make ”green” standards part of everything we design and manufacture, we create ”green collar” jobs that are much more difficult to outsource. I.B.M. and other tech companies are discovering a mother lode of potential new business for their high-wage engineers and programmers thanks to the fact that mayors all over the world are thinking about going green through congestion pricing systems.

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Thomas Friedman speaks truth again!

I love it when Thomas Friedman speaks bluntly. He stated the following in his July 18, 2007 op-ed column in the New York Times.

President Bush baffles me. If your whole legacy was riding on Iraq, what would you do? I’d draft the country’s best negotiators — Henry Kissinger, Jim Baker, George Shultz, George Mitchell, Dennis Ross or Richard Holbrooke — and ask one or all of them to go to Baghdad, under a U.N. mandate, with the following orders:

”I want you to move to the Green Zone, meet with the Iraqi factions and do not come home until you’ve reached one of three conclusions: 1) You have resolved the power- and oil-sharing issues holding up political reconciliation; 2) you have concluded that those obstacles are insurmountable and have sold the Iraqis on a partition plan that could be presented to the U.N. and supervised by an international force; 3) you have concluded that Iraqis are incapable of agreeing on either political reconciliation or a partition plan and told them that, as a result, the U.S. has no choice but to re-deploy its troops to the border and let Iraqis sort this out on their own.”

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