Everyone should read and know the work of Tom Friedman. I am still on the first half of Hot, Crowded and Flat where he expands upon his previous book The World is Flat laying out the frankly colossal challenges America and the rest of the Western world face from a combination of: migration due to climate change rendering much of the world’s arable land unviable; population explosion; and citizens of emerging economies quite rightly wanting the (until now proven to be unsustainable) standards of living we have been peddling to them through the media and exported culture for the past 200 years.
It is heavy, frightening but essential stuff. I am, at this stage of my reading, deeply depressed by its message, and cannot see how we are going to adjust to this new world order without some big and painful changes in the coming 2-3 decades. I hope we have the wisdom not to revert to the old and trusted ways of attempted colonialism. It will not work on any level this time. I feel we may be standing at the threshold of a leap of commercial consciousness or regression into chaos. Tom rightly states we have had ‘our [economic] warning heart attack’… Do we have what it takes to make the coming transition?