Latest read: Our Choice

Al Gore’s latest book Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis should be considered by anyone interested in learning how the world can conserve resources with next generation technologies to reduce the globe’s carbon footprint.

 Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate CrisisIts easy to think this book is a political sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. That would be a mistake. The book has set off all the political rhetoric one would expect.

I found Chapter 11: Population rather interesting and worth the read alone.  Clearly we live in a world that is experiencing a sustained population boom in China and India.

This brings ultra-large scale social responsibility as well.  The impact of population on energy and food is obviously critical but the underlying issue on this still taboo subject must be moved to the forefront.

How will China and India care, feed and shelter their children?  More importantly how can green fuels be utilized in favor of coal and other cheap, outdated solutions?  There are options.

Continue reading “Latest read: Our Choice”

Latest read: The Post-American World

Most recognize Fareed Zakaria from his CNN show Fareed Zakaria GPS. His book The Post-American World is an enjoyable read. The bottom line:  The US is not falling behind but rather (quite simply) the world is catching up.  Some amazing technologies are lifting the citizens of the poorest third world countries.
The biggest elephant called out in his book is America’s educational system. It needs a much required re-boot in order to compete against tomorrow’s globalized students who have access to free, powerful computing tools including Linux, or new technology like water pumps in Africa.  He references Tom Friedman‘s The World is Flat: a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century which I found to be a great read as well.

Zakaria is able to simply convey that America remains the top country for innovation, technology and intellectual property but India and China are catching up fast by introducing more of their citizens to the global economy.  India is first only in population growth while their level of poverty slowly dropped.

While true to some extent the reader may be surprised to see the detail about how splintered Al-Qaeda has become.  In Iraq for example the aim of this terrorist group has moved from targeting American and Israel to fighting other Muslim warlords and religious groups for control of Al-Qaeda’s future.

It should be noted Zakaria also addresses the issues of global climante and energy.  But to again point to Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America not a lot of new ideas or information.

Overall Zakaria’s book is a gentle wake up call for America and is much smoother on the American reader than Mark Steyn’s America Alone.  The war in Iraq and Afghanistan while critical, reveals Al-Qaeda‘s struggle since 9/11 to deliver any significant violence on American soil.  Why?  Zakaria’s position is that Bin Laden has been so tightly curtailed, his organization still under a microscope has evolved into a communications company and is no longer a true terrorist organization.

Latest read: Hot, Flat and Crowded

Over the long holiday I finally finished Tom Friedman’s book Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America. The book is a mixed blessing.  Friedman has written one of the best books to understand the emergency need for a global environmental revolution.

hot, flat and crowded

Friedman provides detailed examples of how the world has been wasting energy resources since the industrial revolution. Sadly I am convinced we are (environmentally speaking) screwed.

Friedman provides well written pages that will awaken those still asleep on the environment’s impact on the human race.  If you think “green” is a movement to replace your light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs your WAY off base.  Its about re-educating how we waste energy and in today’s global economy risk losing more industries to countries around the globe.

The major challenge?  This issue is no long America’s alone to fix. Thanks to globalization its now a problem for the entire world.  Mother Earth needs assistance from China and India. Both must engage in green technologies to ensure planet earth’s health for the long term.

For China and India that includes all 3.5 Billion of their citizens who are just coming out of poverty.  Their governments cannot permit new coal plants to dominate their air pollution.  China alone brings coal-fired (dirty) power plants online every two weeks and will continue to do so for the short term future.

The Beijing Olympics was a perfect example of population and industrial pollution impacting the Chinese environment … and their economy.

Why China and India are causing the price of gasoline to rise.
When I was born in 1966 the earth’s population stood at 3.4 billion.  When my son was born in 2007 the population doubled to 6.7 billion.  What does our future hold when the earth’s population reaches 9 billion in 2050?  Forget fuel costs for a moment.  How much will it cost to feed your family?

Continue reading “Latest read: Hot, Flat and Crowded”

Latest read: Competing in a Flat World

Searching for the next emerging career in business?  Its Network Orchestrator and this does not refer to computer networks or chamber music.  If you understand fluid, globalized supply chains your on the right track.  Competing in a Flat World: Building Enterprises for a Borderless World proves success is less about what a company can do itself and more about what it can connect to in the global world in order to succeed.

Enter Globalization 3.0 and now business must be in a position to take advantage of a Network Orchestrator.

This book follows Li & Fung, a garment company which produces annual sales over $8 billion for some of the most respected brands in the world.

What may surprise you is that Li & Fung do not own any factories.

This book may be crafted for business schools but its larger impact is for educators.

More importantly parents should read this to see how the world has already changed and learn how their children (regardless of profession) will enter a vastly different marketplace.  The changes from their generation are drastically different.  Li & Fung’s message is quite simple: evolve or die.
Continue reading “Latest read: Competing in a Flat World”