Flat: The Solution for the Hot

About six years ago, author Thomas Friedman produced a book that resonated with millions of Americans: Hot, Flat, and Crowded.  To this day, it is one of my favorite books.  The Flat, he describes as globalization, termed from his previous book, The World is Flat.  This new era of globalization that will flatten the world will include the rise of middle class citizens that he believes will begin to consume resources like Americans have been (Side note: American’s consume a lot of resources).  The book’s main purpose is to distinguish America as the nation that needs to lead the Green Revolution. Friedman states that the U.S. market is the “most effective and prolific system for transformational innovation… There is only one thing bigger than Mother Nature and that is Father Profit.”

But I think Friedman missed out a key effect of Globalization. And that is that this new era of globalization has sent mass communication sky-rocketing on an international level.  His argument that America will realize that climate change is an imminent issue and leave other countries behind in starting this Green Revolution is somewhat irrelevant.  A “green race” with China will not work the same way the “space race” did with Russia, because communication across borders is happening at light-speed.

Friedman, I support you.  I support the idea that geographical borders have become irrelevant in this new age of Globalization. Globalization 1.0 was countries globalizing through trade across seas, Globalization 2.0 was companies globalizing, and Globalization 3.0 is individuals globalizing.  This is happening, you stand correct in your predications.

I will call it Globalization 4.0, and it’s effect will be the complete dissipation of geographical borders in their relevance to communication.  Access to internet in China allots you the same resources as access to internet in America, and communication will occur.  The equalization of classes will only decrease the time it takes for peripheral countries to catch up to central countries. If central countries are in the midst of a Green Revolution, if this is where the money lies, than with Globalization 4.0, peripheral countries will be in the midst of a Green Revolution, too.  Evidenced by Eco-tourism in South Africa and Latin America, this is my prediction for how globalization will take its effect.


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