I blog a lot. Some times I write stuff I think important. Sometimes I write stuff that is not so important. What I am going to tell you now is most important. It has nothing to do with IT security and everything to do with the very future of the planet we all share. If you are going to read only one book this year, make it Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat and Crowded. Friedman has written some amazing books, most recently "The World is Flat". He also writes amazing columns. But never have a I read anything that has so grabbed me and resonated so strongly with me as this book. Within the first 25 pages I was so drawn and attuned to what he describes that I am ready to go out and volunteer to do my part and I want to convince you to go do your part too.
Friedman says that America has lost its focus, party due to 9/11, partly to the "dumb as we want to be" mentality of our politicians. We have built ourselves into a "Fortress America", where "even birds don't fly". We have allowed ourselves to think that the blessed American way of life means we don't have to worry about things like energy consumption, educational challenges and national debt. We are America, we will deal with our problems when we want to and it won't catch up to us because we are America. At the same time the world is changing. It is getting hotter from global warming, flatter with the world-wide rise of a prosperous middle class and the demands for food, energy and resources are quickly outpacing our ability to meet them. Our uniquely American problem and the world-wide problem can both be solved by America getting her "groove" back. By taking its place in the world and by leading the way in the 21st century with "Code Green". A multi-generational, long term plan to solve the urgent issues facing us all. Not for altruistic reasons, but for the reasons that have always driven this country - profit and our desire to innovate and reinvent ourselves to be the very best and lead the world.
We need to leave our post 9/11 defensive crouch that has us playing afraid. We need America to "play the vital role it has long played for the rest of the world - as a beacon of hope and the country that can always be counted on to lead the world in response to whatever is the most important challenge of the day. We need that America - we need to be that America -more than ever today." I personally have felt for a long time that we needed a new "put a man on the moon" mission to energize our country, to rally around and bring our tremendous innovation and ingenuity to bear. I have also felt that energy was that next great American mission. The reason that the last century and a half were American centuries is that we led the way in energy production. We need to lead the way with the next dominant energy sources. Everything I have felt around this, Friedman has put to words. He defines the problems and lays out what we have to do to invent the solutions, while reinventing ourselves and the world we live in.
Enough gushing on about the book. Go out and buy and read this book. After you do, try to do your part in making Code Green a success. The life you and your children will lead may very well depend on it!