by Thomas L. Friedman
It was an accident that I finished up Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America on the day of Barack Obama's inauguration, but it also seemed appropriate. I spent much of this book feeling like we're doomed. Humans on the whole are too selfish to care about the damage we are causing. Far be it from us to inconvenience ourselves for the sake of some polar bears and villages of poor people we'll never see. I was pretty down. Then came Jan. 20, 2009. Say what some will about Obama, here are my feelings: He may or may not be as extraordinary as many of us think he is and he may be nothing but a lot of rhetoric. But that rhetoric makes me personally want to be a better person, to care for others and our planet. He makes me want to live as one nation and one people while embracing our differences, and he makes me want to learn and intellectually explore beyond my comfort zone. And it appears there are at least a few million others all over the world who feel the same way. How can that possibly be a bad thing?
And how is that related to this book? Fixing the problems on this planet, environmental and otherwise, will take more than a few activists. It will take more that just the government and more than just America. It will take all of us, everywhere. And for that, we need to start by putting aside "I" and "me" and "mine" and reach out to that person and that culture we don't quite understand. And in the words of our new President, "Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations." Let's make sure we include a healthy planet to go along with that freedom.
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!