Monday, January 12, 2009

Hot, Flat and Crowded

Recently I started reading Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman. The second chapter gives an outline of the whole issue Friedman is talking about in the book. 

There are 3 major forces prevalent presently which has ushered in an era which Friedman calls, Energy - Climate Era (or ECE) and these 3 forces are a cause for 5 major problems, ignoring which, argues the author, can be very dangerous.
The 3 forces are:
1. Population or Crowded
2. Globalization or Flat
3. Global Warming or Hot

1. Crowded
- Projected population in 2053 = 9 billion
o Mostly absorbed by developing countries
- Leads to
o Infrastructure problems
o Land Loss
o Water scarcity
o Anti – Social Elements – This is because issues like food, housing, education, unemployment will not be solved. That would lead to extremism
2. Flat
- Happening due to:
o Invention of computers
o Emergence of Internet
o Revolution of software and transmission protocols 
– called “Work Flow Revolution
- In China and India alone, 200 million people were able to move out of poverty after opening up of economy
- All this development, progress, growth creates demand – demand for energy, land, water, natural resources
- Also, this emits pollution – green house gases, Carbon dioxide.

3. Hot
- Industrial Revolution saw the emergence of fossil fuels (below earth fuels) which resulted in production of energy and emission of carbon dioxide
- Then came the Transport Revolution – cars, autos which further worsened these issues
- Next in line to multiply the effect was Urbanization.
- Earth has already warmed up by 0.8 degree Celsius (1.44 deg Fahrenheit) – compare this with a similar increase in the body temperature – A 2 – 3 degree rise in body temperature tells you something is wrong with the body – similar is the case with earth!!!

To be Continued.... 5 problems

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