Lester Russell Brown (born 1934) is an environmental analyst who has written several books on global environmental issues. He is the founder of the Worldwatch Institute and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute which is a nonprofit research organization in Washington, D.C. Though he has written over twenty books, he is best known for Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble. With books in more than forty languages, he is one of the world’s most widely published authors … ” (full text).
Read: ENVIRONMENT: Replanting the Planet, Analysis by Lester R. Brown, July 10, 2007.
Listen to his speech on poptech.com, (no time indication).
He says: ”Our global civilization today is on an economic path that is environmentally unsustainable, a path that is leading us toward economic decline and eventual collapse”.
Lester Brown – USA
Read: Bill Boyne: Corn that fuels cars can’t fill stomachs, June 29, 2007.
Listen to his videos on google (with hereafter a short selection):
- Lester R. Brown, 52 min, 03-May-2006;
- Authors@Google – Lester Brown, 55 min, 01-May-2007;
- SC AgSummit, Lester Brown, 1 hr 7 min, October 26, 2006;
- Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble, 1 hr 7 min, 18-Apr-2007 (around 22 – 26 min.: cars run by corn fuel rise the prize for people’s corn).
He says also answering the question, ‘Can the Earth support three billion more people?’: “The question is, if we look at it just in food terms, at what level of living? If we’re talking about living at food-consumption levels today of, say, the average person in India, then the current world harvest can support 10 billion people. But if we’re talking about the U.S. level of consumption, then we’re talking about a world that will support two and a half billion people.
And the question is, at what level do people want to live? We look at the poor countries and realize they’re not really consuming all that much, but the bottom line is they all want to consume as we do. And what we’re seeing in China today is that desire to consume being realized on a scale we’ve not seen before” … (full long text).
Read: Future Dims for Incandescent Light Bulbs, June 15, 2007.
He works for the Earth Policy Institute. Lester Brown founded the WorldWatch Institute in 1974. The organization is devoted to the analysis of global environmental issues. Ten years later, he launched The State of the World Report and expanded the Institute’s publications by launching WorldWatch, a bimonthly magazine featuring articles in his research. Currently he is the President of the Earth Policy Institute, which is an interdisciplinary research organization. (full long text).
And he says (answering the question ‘Do you consider biofuels a permanent solution or a bridge?’: “I think we’re going to need almost all agricultural resources to produce food. We keep forgetting the water issue, which is a sleeper. Half the world’s people live in countries where water tables are falling. We may wake up one morning and there won’t be enough grain to go around, and not enough water to produce enough grain.
We’ve always been concerned about the effect of high oil prices on food-production costs, and those are very real, given the oil intensity of world agriculture today. But more important is the effect of high oil prices on the demand for agriculture commodities. Once oil gets up to $60 a barrel, it becomes profitable to convert agricultural commodities into automotive fuels. In effect, the price of oil becomes a support price for agricultural commodities, and therefore food prices. If at any point the food value of the commodity drops below the fuel value, the market will move that commodity into the energy economy.
I don’t think we yet quite grasp the effect of $60-a-barrel oil on food prices, because the capacity to distill ethanol and produce biodiesel is not yet large enough to really have an impact. But it’s exploding all over the world. Up until a year or two ago, all the government programs here [in the U.S.], in Europe, and in Brazil were driven by government subsidies. In Brazil there are no more subsidies. Ethanol investment is just exploding; it’s entirely a market-based operation. (full long text).
Read: The eco-economic revolution: Getting the market in Sync with nature.
Eco-Economy discusses the need today for a similar shift in our worldview. The issue now is whether the environment is part of the economy or the economy is part of the environment. Lester R. Brown argues the latter, pointing out that treating the environment as part of the economy has produced an economy that is destroying its natural support systems. (full text).
Read: Earth Day 2006: Saving the Future By Looking to the Past, April 21, 2006.
China’s Food Problems Are Everybody’s Food Problems, June 29, 2007;