Hot, Flat, and Crowded – pass the green energy please

I really enjoyed Thomas L. Friedman’s last book, The World Is Flat.  Friedman has a great perspective and way of stitching seemingly unrelated facts together to create a compelling argument.  Friedman has done the same in Hot, Flat, and Crowded.

For example, I learned that the CO2 emissions from Indonesia and Brazil (from clear cutting forests) account for 20% of global CO emissions.  This exceeds all the emissions from cars, trucks, trains, and boats in the world.  Even if we were to park every last car in North America, it seems like we woundn’t make a dent in reducing CO emissions.

The UN predicts by 2053 we will have 9 billion people on the planet.  That translates in to a lot of energy needs.  How much?  For example, at the time of the book’s writing, China alone is bringing online one coal fired powered electricity generating plant every two weeks.  That’s is 2GW of power, enough to power all the homes in Minneapolis, every two weeks.  It’s clear why air polution was such a grave concern during the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing.  If fact, Friedman sites a fact that 25% of the poluted air in L.A. comes from China.  Now that’s crazy importing.

At the time of this blog, the Ontario Government announced approval for a wind farm.  Obviously the wind farm won’t be located conviently beside where it is needed, GTA, nor likely be situated beside an existing hydro transmission line corridor, so we’ll have to construct everything.  Friedman sites a windfarm development in California that’s taking 13years from approval-to-supplying power.  That will bring Ontario’s 1st wind farm on-line in 2023.  We need the power now.

Friedman argues that by transforming the US in to green power leader, we could create a new economic engine.  However, Denmark has a high-efficiency policy for at least 2 decades (Gas is $8-9 gallon and 60% of their energy comes from renewables), yet what have I bought that’s manufactured in Demark because they have renewable engergy?  Nada.

Friedman argues a lot to reduce our oil dependency on middle-east countries as our dependency results with us indirectly funding the extremist’s war against us.  Seems logical.

Friedman made a convincing argument for what he call “electricity poverty”.  Peoples in development nations don’t have electricity, and therefore, simply, can’t learn after sunset.  No light, no reading, no learning.  It seems logical that that fact alone should significantly stifle their development.

Friedman made a convincing argument for what he call “electricity poverty”.  Peoples in development nations don’t have electricity, and therefore, simply, can’t learn after sunset.  No light, no reading, no learning.  It seems logical that that fact alone should significantly stifle their development.

What I learned

While one can’t watch TV, listen to the radio, read a blog or tech magazine without reading about greening something.  I wouldn’t consider myself a green-belt, and I’m still not after reading the Hot, Flat, and Crowded, but have a much clearer idea of what’s going on.  Lastly, I’m a big proponent of starting.  Too often we get bogged down in analysis paralysis.  Give me efficient and resonably priced tools to save energy, and I’ll use them, like my car that gets 35mpg.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s