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Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization Paperback – 23 Oct 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Substantially Revised ed edition (23 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393337197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393337198
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 649,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This is a document the world's leaders must take seriously. -- Wildlife Activist [for Plan B 3.0]

This is a document the world 's leaders must take seriously. --Wildlife Activist [for Plan B 3.0]

This is a document the world s leaders must take seriously. --Wildlife Activist [for Plan B 3.0]

A great blueprint for combating climate change. --Bryan Walsh

The best book on the environment I've ever read. --Chris Swann

Lester Brown tells us how to build a more just world and save the planet... in a practical, straightforward way. We should all heed his advice. --Former President Bill Clinton

In this impressively researched manifesto for change, Brown bluntly sets out the challenges and offers an achievable road map for solving the climate change crisis.

THe best big-picture summary of our environmental situation both the problems and the solutions I've ever read.

A great book which should wake up humankind! --Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum

Brown gives concise, but very informative, summaries of what he regards as the key issues facing civilization as a consequence of the stress we put on our environment.... a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate.

A great blueprint for combating climate change. --Bryan Walsh"

The best book on the environment I've ever read. --Chris Swann"

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. --E. O. Wilson"

In this impressively researched manifesto for change, Brown bluntly sets out the challenges and offers an achievable road map for solving the climate change crisis. "

The best big-picture summary of our environmental situation both the problems and the solutions I've ever read. "

A great book which should wake up humankind! --Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum"

Brown gives concise, but very informative, summaries of what he regards as the key issues facing civilization as a consequence of the stress we put on our environment.... a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate. "

Lester Brown tells us how to build a more just world and save the planet... in a practical, straightforward way. We should all heed his advice. --Former President Bill Clinton"

About the Author

Lester R. Brown is 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.


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Format: Paperback
Plan B is an amazing effort - I could hardly put it down!

Like many people, I've put a lot of thought into the multitude of woes that face the planet and our poor (oh so human) race, and I've tried earnestly to do my bit here and there to make a difference...

Like just about anyone who's really tried to think things through however, I usually end up feeling overwhelmed, powerless and disheartened by the sheer magnitude of it all.

I try to stay informed, and I've read plenty of scary stuff by real experts about the terrible existential problems that we and our children face - Climate change, water crises, food crises, pandemics, overpopulation, terrorism, war, peak oil, biodiversity loss, rainforest depletion, collapsing fisheries, ...

I've also read plenty of amazing stuff by real experts about the solutions to these terrible existential problems - renewable energy, sustainable economies, sustainable fisheries, forestry, and farming, sustainable design and manufacturing, poverty eradication, universal primary education, population control, universal health care, ...

The problem with most of these "expert" solutions though is that they only address the problem that the expert understands - which would be just fine if we lived in a hypothetical world where that problem existed in isolation from the other problems that humanity faces.

Reading about these "solutions" usually leaves me feeling all positive and "Bono/We are the World" for a short time, but when I really think about it again, I realise that there is no point educating children who are dying of starvation or thirst! And what is the point of providing health care to a country that is so geopolitically unstable that it will collapse into civil war and genocide at any moment?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchase and started reading this book along with 'Winning the Oil Endgame'. They complement each other perfectly.

The value of the book is in showing that we are not that far from cleaning most of the mess since the industrial revolution.

Actually it is the war we must all fight for.

Please read it and spread the word.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well written book addressing four main themes:
Stabilizing population
Eradicating poverty
Restoring the earth's natural systems
Stabilizing Climate

It sets out the current state of play with each of these, looking at the significant problems the world faces and how we got there.

However, it's only partly doom and gloom! The main part of the book deals with what can be done to address these issues and gives many examples of what has worked in various countries around the world. Assuming these successes can be replicated elsewhere, it then outlines the costs involved. e.g. it's fairly strong on energy related issues involved in climate change.

One thing that sets this book apart from others is how up to date it is and how often it continues to be updated - every 2 years or so. I was unsure whether to purchase this or 'World on the Edge', but you're probably best to go with the latest edition of 'World on the Edge' (which can also be downloaded free from the Earth Policy Institute website).

I'd agree with the other reviewer who mentions that the difficulties involved in implementing the solutions are not discussed and also it could do with more graphs to explain trends etc, leading to four instead of five stars.

All in all, well worth a read.
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Format: Paperback
This book was written by the Earth Policy Institute as a guide to how we can move towards the often quoted (and largely agreed) targets to keep increases in global temperature to below 2 degrees.

It differs from a number of other books that I have read in that it is looking at things on a global scale, and, impressively, does not ignore the biggest cause of climate change - overpopulation. The book is divided into sections, first outlining the problems, then dividing up the solutions into areas such as energy use and renewables, designing cities for people, population stabilisation and eradication of poverty, sustainably feeding the population and renewing the earth's resources (or at least not depleting them any more). It is also different in that it provides examples where there has been an implementation of renewables, better living spaces, better education, accessible birth control etc, and the difference it has made. He then outlines the cost of doing the same on a global scale and the benefits that could ensue. This leads to an entirely optimistic feel to the book.

The downside to this is that there is no hint of the potential problems with implementing the ideas. For example, can we really provide the required amount of energy from wind power? Is it consistent enough (many would say no) and how much will be lost through transmission, downtime for servicing etc, how does the accessibility of birth control stack up against various religious beliefs, if the policies that transformed Bogota were so popular, why is Penalosa not still Mayor?

The book is a good starting point, putting forward a lot of options, but to be a 5 star book, it needs to be more balanced and acknowledge that there are obstacles to be overcome in order to make some or all of the ideas economically viable and actually feasible.
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