I just watched Tom Friedman discussing his new book "Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America" on today's Meet the Press. One of the things he mentioned when discussing the book was his chapter titled "China for a day." In this chapter Friedman says he talks about how the US could push through solutions for our energy crisis if the government could just decide to go forward and do it, rather than Congress having to deal with the lobbyists and the red tape within the Washington bureaucracy. If there is one positive about China's communist government it is that when China decides to commit itself to doing things to advance good causes, they get it done.
Here in a democratic republic like the US, we can't afford to wait for the government to do its dance with the lobbyists and special interest groups and then hope that they make the right decisions on big issues like energy policy. That is why Friedman told Tom Brokaw that instead of a government sponsored Manhattan project for energy, he would rather see the "next economic revolution", what he called the ET or energy tech revolution, follow the model created by the Information Technology revolution - supporting and encouraging the start up of 100,000 companies that will attempt to solve one piece of the renewable energy problem.
I have pre-ordered the book, which is officially on the shelves tomorrow (Monday). The book sounds like it will be a hit like Friedman's other efforts. It also sounds like something the eventual President-elect needs to read between election day and their inauguration in January.