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Award-winning writer Thomas Friedman speaks at NUS

27 January 2011

AT NUS: Mr Thomas Friedman gave a highly engaging lecture on "Why We Need a Green Revolution?" based on one of his bestselling books

QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION: Intrigued by the insights he shared, the audience had many questions for Mr Friedman. Moderating the session was Prof Kishore Mahbubani
New York Times foreign affairs columnist and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Mr Thomas L Friedman was at NUS to give a lecture on why we need a green revolution based on his bestseller Hot, Flat and Crowded 2.0. Organised by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School), NUS, the public lecture was well-attended by over 1000 distinguished guests on 24 January 2011.

On the solution to key challenges threatening the sustainability of our environment, Mr Friedman said: "Whichever country, whichever university, whichever business or whichever community that can come up with a source of abundant, cheap, clean non-carbon dioxide emitting reliable electrons will actually dramatically relieve energy and natural resources supply and demand, undermine petro-dictatorship, communicate climate change, wipe out energy poverty and dramatically slow biodiversity loss."

Sharing his idea of a green revolution, he noted: "Green is not just a lifestyle issue. It is about economic power and innovation power. This is what I tried to do with the book - redefine green as being geo-politic, geo-strategic, geo-economic, capitalist and patriotic." He highlighted that in order for the green revolution to take place, it was important to have a price signal for people to shift to green alternatives.

After his lecture, Mr Friedman also fielded many questions raised by the enthusiastic audience such as whether the United States is the right country to trigger the price signal to drive environmental innovation and the ethics of conservation.

This is Mr Friedman's second visit to Singapore. His first visit was in September 2005 when he came to the LKY School to deliver a public lecture based on another of his bestseller The World is Flat.

To view the video of Mr Thomas Friedman’s lecture at NUS, please click here.