I know a lot of people who aren’t pleased with The New York Times’ Thomas L. Friedman‘s ‘world is flat’ perspective on globalization (nor with his views on Iraq). For my part, I sometimes find him glib, too focused on a clever turn of phrase (though I realize that’s just good media management).
But one ignores this, from his Friday column, at one’s peril:
The dirty little secret is that India is taking work from Europe or America not simply because of low wages. It is also because Indians are ready to work harder and can do anything from answering your phone to designing your next airplane or car. They are not racing us to the bottom. They are racing us to the top.
The way things were is no assurance of the way things will be. A sense of entitlement will be no defense.
And I wonder:

  • How well will growing commitments to sustainability and regeneration, and an appreciation for the essential role of nature’s services, hold up in the face of this new gold rush?
  • Will the obsolete, falacious, yet still pervasive ‘environment vs economy’ fallacy divert China and India onto a highway to hell? Or will the growing evidence — and burgeoning need — for ‘both/and’ solutions enable them to lead the world’s emerging economies into a new industrial revolution, rather than a tragic replay of the old one?
  • And

  • Will the EU’s constitutional crisis erode its resolve as a powerful driver of the sustainability revolution?