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Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization / Edition 4

Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization / Edition 4

by Lester R. Brown
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“[Brown’s] ability to make a complicated subject accessible to the general reader is remarkable.”—Katherine Salant, Washington Post

As fossil fuel prices rise, oil insecurity deepens, and concerns about climate change cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new energy economy is emerging. Wind, solar, and geothermal energy are replacing oil, coal, and natural gas, at a pace and on a scale we could not have imagined even a year ago. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, we have begun investing in energy sources that can last forever. Plan B 4.0 explores both the nature of this transition to a new energy economy and how it will affect our daily lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393337198
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/05/2009
Edition description: Substantially Revised
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 438,455
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Lester R. Brownis the founder of the Earth Policy and Worldwatch Institutes. He has been honored with numerous prizes, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the United Nations Environment Prize, and twenty-five honorary degrees. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 Selling Our Future 3

Food: The 'Weak Link 4

The Emerging Politics of Food Scarcity 9

Our Global Ponzi Economy 14

Mounting Stresses, failing States 18

Plan B-A Plan to Save Civilization 23

I The Challenges

2 Population Pressure: Land and Water 31

Civilization's Foundation Eroding 32

Water Tables Palling 38

Farmers Losing Water to Cities 41

Land and Water Conflicts 44

Cars and People Compete for Grain 48

The Rising Tide of Environmental Refugees 51

3 Climate Change and the Energy Transition 55

Rising Temperature and Its Effects 56

Melting Ice, Rising Seas 61

Melting Glaciers, Shrinking Harvests 66

Rising Temperatures, Falling Yields 69

The Decline of Oil and Coal 71

A Challenge Without Precedent 75

II The Response

4 Stabilizing Climate: An Energy Efficiency Revolution 79

A Revolution in Lighting Technology 81

Energy-Efficient Appliances 84

Zero-Carbon Buildings 87

Electrifying the Trans-port System 91

A New Materials Economy 96

Smarter Grids, Appliances, and Consumers 103

The Energy Savings Potential 106

5 Stabilizing Climate: Shifting to Renewable Energy 109

Turning to the Wind 113

Solar Cells and Thermal Collectors 117

Energy from the Earth 125

Plant-Based Sources of Energy 128

Hydropower: Rivers, Tides, and Waves 132

The World Energy Economy of 2020 135

6 Designing Cities for People 143

The Ecology of Cities 145

Redesigning Urban Transport 147

The Return of Bicycles 151

Reducing Urban Water Use 154

Farming in the City 158

Upgrading Squatter Settlements 160

Cities for People 162

7 Eradicating Poverty and Stabilizing Population 168

Educating Everyone 171

Toward aHealthy Future 174

Stabilizing Population 181

Rescuing Failing States 185

A Poverty Eradication Agenda and Budget 188

8 Restoring the Earth 192

Protecting and Restoring Forests 193

Planting Trees to Sequester Carbon 198

Conserving and Rebuilding Soils 202

Regenerating Fisheries 206

Protecting Plant and Animal Diversity 209

The Earth Restoration Budget 211

9 Feeding Eight Billion People Well 216

Raising Land Productivity 217

Raising Water Productivity 222

Producing Protein More Efficiently 226

The Localization of Agriculture 230

Strategic Reductions in Demand 233

Action on Many Fronts 236

III The Great Mobilization

10 Can We Mobilize Fast Enough? 241

Shifting Taxes and Subsidies 244

Coal: The Beginning of the End 249

Stabilizing Climate 253

Three Models of Social Change 256

A Wartime Mobilization 259

Mobilizing to Save Civilization 261

What You and I Can Do 266

Notes 269

Index 341

Acknowledgments 363

About the Author 369

What People are Saying About This

E. O. Wilson

Lester Brown is one of the pioneers and heroes of global environmentalism. If the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize had been extended to a third recipient, the logical candidate would have been Lester Brown.

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