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"[Brown's] ability to make a complicated subject accessible to the general reader is remarkable." -- Katherine Salant, Washington Post"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. WilsonAs 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.
Lester R. Brown is the president of Earth Policy Institute, a research organization based in Washington, DC. Brown has been honored with numerous prizes, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the United Nations Environment Prize, and Japan's Blue Planet Prize.
Table of Contents
|Selling Our Future||p. 3|
|Food: The 'Weak Link||p. 4|
|The Emerging Politics of Food Scarcity||p. 9|
|Our Global Ponzi Economy||p. 14|
|Mounting Stresses, failing States||p. 18|
|Plan B-A Plan to Save Civilization||p. 23|
|Population Pressure: Land and Water||p. 31|
|Civilization's Foundation Eroding||p. 32|
|Water Tables Palling||p. 38|
|Farmers Losing Water to Cities||p. 41|
|Land and Water Conflicts||p. 44|
|Cars and People Compete for Grain||p. 48|
|The Rising Tide of Environmental Refugees||p. 51|
|Climate Change and the Energy Transition||p. 55|
|Rising Temperature and Its Effects||p. 56|
|Melting Ice, Rising Seas||p. 61|
|Melting Glaciers, Shrinking Harvests||p. 66|
|Rising Temperatures, Falling Yields||p. 69|
|The Decline of Oil and Coal||p. 71|
|A Challenge Without Precedent||p. 75|
|Stabilizing Climate: An Energy Efficiency Revolution||p. 79|
|A Revolution in Lighting Technology||p. 81|
|Energy-Efficient Appliances||p. 84|
|Zero-Carbon Buildings||p. 87|
|Electrifying the Trans-port System||p. 91|
|A New Materials Economy||p. 96|
|Smarter Grids, Appliances, and Consumers||p. 103|
|The Energy Savings Potential||p. 106|
|Stabilizing Climate: Shifting to Renewable Energy||p. 109|
|Turning to the Wind||p. 113|
|Solar Cells and Thermal Collectors||p. 117|
|Energy from the Earth||p. 125|
|Plant-Based Sources of Energy||p. 128|
|Hydropower: Rivers, Tides, and Waves||p. 132|
|The World Energy Economy of 2020||p. 135|
|Designing Cities for People||p. 143|
|The Ecology of Cities||p. 145|
|Redesigning Urban Transport||p. 147|
|The Return of Bicycles||p. 151|
|Reducing Urban Water Use||p. 154|
|Farming in the City||p. 158|
|Upgrading Squatter Settlements||p. 160|
|Cities for People||p. 162|
|Eradicating Poverty and Stabilizing Population||p. 168|
|Educating Everyone||p. 171|
|Toward a Healthy Future||p. 174|
|Stabilizing Population||p. 181|
|Rescuing Failing States||p. 185|
|A Poverty Eradication Agenda and Budget||p. 188|
|Restoring the Earth||p. 192|
|Protecting and Restoring Forests||p. 193|
|Planting Trees to Sequester Carbon||p. 198|
|Conserving and Rebuilding Soils||p. 202|
|Regenerating Fisheries||p. 206|
|Protecting Plant and Animal Diversity||p. 209|
|The Earth Restoration Budget||p. 211|
|Feeding Eight Billion People Well||p. 216|
|Raising Land Productivity||p. 217|
|Raising Water Productivity||p. 222|
|Producing Protein More Efficiently||p. 226|
|The Localization of Agriculture||p. 230|
|Strategic Reductions in Demand||p. 233|
|Action on Many Fronts||p. 236|
|The Great Mobilization|
|Can We Mobilize Fast Enough?||p. 241|
|Shifting Taxes and Subsidies||p. 244|
|Coal: The Beginning of the End||p. 249|
|Stabilizing Climate||p. 253|
|Three Models of Social Change||p. 256|
|A Wartime Mobilization||p. 259|
|Mobilizing to Save Civilization||p. 261|
|What You and I Can Do||p. 266|
|About the Author||p. 369|
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