The one-sentence summary

Geographical boundaries have effectively disappeared where business is concerned.


  • It explains why the world needs a green revolution and how we can renew our global future.
  • Climate change and rapid population growth mean that it’s no longer possible for businesses, or the rest of us, to keep doing things the same old way. We need to change and fast. He provides a bold strategy for clean fuel, energy efficiency and conservation that he calls ‘Code Green’. This is to counteract growing demand for energy and resources; the transfer of wealth to oil-rich countries; climate change; energy poverty; and accelerating biodiversity loss.
  • The title is based on the fact that the world is now in danger of being hot (due to global warming), flat (due to the rise of high-consuming middle classes all over the world) and crowded (adding about a billion people every thirteen years).
  • He analyses when the market and Mother Nature hit the wall, showing that the parallels between the two phenomena are eerie.
  • IBG (I’ll be gone) and YBG (You’ll be gone) refer to those exploiting people and financial markets – they won’t be around to suffer the consequences. Their approach is to privatize gains and socialise loss – the taxpayer pays.
  • A WWF 2008 report concluded that we are already operating 25 % above the planet’s biological capacity to support life.
  • We are the Grasshopper generation – eating our way through a staggering amount of wealth and resources in a short period of time.


  • Key the words ‘world population into google and add the year of your birth. In 1950 there were 2.5 billion on the planet, today there are 6.8 billion, with 9 billion predicted by 2050. So in 40 years it will rise by its 1950 population.
  • These are serious figures. In the last twenty years the world market has more than doubled from three to over six billion. New entrants crave the spoils previously only enjoyed by the western world, and they are getting their hands on it fast.
  • From a business perspective, this certainly offers a volume opportunity in one direction, but it also means intense competitive pressure in the other.
  • A huge reservoir of labour and intelligence has been released. An American can leave the office in the evening and have a presentation written overnight in India sitting on his or her desk by the morning. Geographical boundaries have in many respects disappeared where business is concerned.


  • It is very long and detailed, so not for the faint-hearted.