A Real Revolution

I know that I am getting closer to that magical goal of adulthood: I actually went to a lecture. Voluntarily. I went to Heinz Hall last night to join a capacity crowd and listen to New York Times writer and author Thomas Friedman. I read his book The World is Flat which discussed globalization in the 21st century.

I was anxious to hear him speak about his newest book, which I have not read yet, about the hot topic around the world today: the environment. It’s called Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution.

With humor and a bit of cold hard reality, Friedman forwarded the notion that America has lost its groove since the attacks of 9/11. He says we have lost our stranding in the world and he believes the only way we can retake our dominance on the planet is to do what we did over a century ago.

Author Thomas Friedman in Pittsburgh yesterday advancing the notion of a real “Green Revolution” ( Courtesy AP Photo )

The United States led the Industrial Revolution and that’s how we became a super power in the 20th century. Now, Friedman says we must become the leaders in the new revolution – the Green revolution – or become just another player on the world stage and be behind such emerging powers as China and India. That means we need to lead planet it its search for clean, renewable forms of energy and end forever our dependence on oil.

Now what makes Friedman’s argument so interesting is that he feels what we have done to this point in the “Greening of America” amounts to garden party. He scoffed at this notion of “10 Things You Can Do Live a Green Lifestyle ” and other small ways to be “Conveniently Green”.

In his opinion, revolution means somebody gets hurts, someone has to lose something or suffer in someway in order for change to occur. Whether that means the death of old thought or old companies, he says change rarely happens without conflict.

While that belief that revolution means suffering is a stretch in my mind, I do agree with Friedman that America can once again rule the world by leading the way in this “Green Revolution” and that means more than “5 ways to keep your house green”.

I actually might buy his book and give it a read. If the previous book he wrote The World is Flat is any indication, it’s bound to open my eyes once again.

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