LIVING LIKE AN AMERICAN

“We Americans are in no position to lecture anyone [about climate change]. But we are in a position to know better. We are in a position to set a different example of growth. We are in a position to use our resources and know-how to invent the renewable, clean power sources and energy efficiency systems that can make growth greener. Both Europe and Japan have demonstrated that it is possible to live a middle-class lifestyle with much less consumption. In a world that is both flat and crowded, if we, as Americans, do not redefine what an American middle-class lifestyle is–and invent the tools and spread the know-how that enable another two or three billion people to enjoy it in a more sustainable fashion–we will need to colonize three more planets. Because we are going to make planet earth so hot, and strip it so bare of resources, that nobody, including us, will be able to live like Americans one day.” —  Thomas L. Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York (2008), at p.55.