So Much Accomplished...So Much To Do


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Last Wednesday night we celebrated our 10-year anniversary with a dinner to which we’d invited Board members and people who have supported us: donors, NGOs, editors, reviewers, etc. We would have liked to have had a huge event to celebrate with—and thank—the many people around the world we have worked with during this time, but to keep carbon emissions low, we kept it local.

So, 45 of us gathered at Nora’s restaurant, America’s first certified organic restaurant, for a lovely evening of great food and great conversation.

During the reception we showed a PowerPoint to provide a sense of the scope of our work these past ten years, as well as highlighting some of the important people who have contributed so significantly.

Our thanks to you, our readers, and to all who help to get the Plan B message out.

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So Much Accomplished...So Much To Do

  1. 1. 2001-2011So Much Accomplished … So Much To Do
  2. 2. May 7, 2001Earth Policy Institute begins
  3. 3. Earth Policy Releases 2001• Lester Brown Launches Earth Policy Institute (May 8)• Dust Bowl Threatening China’s Future (May 23)• Wind Power: The Missing Link In The Bush Energy Plan (May 31)• Worsening Water Shortages Threaten China’s Food Security (October 4)• Eco‐Economy Offers Alternative to Middle East Oil (November 1)• Rising Sea Level Forcing Evacuation of Island Country (November 15)• World Grain Harvest Falling Short by 54 Million Tons (November 21)• This Year May be Second Warmest on Record (December 18)• Iran’s Birth Rate Plummeting at Record Pace (December 28) Photo Credit: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
  4. 4. November 2001“… an instant classic." –E.O. Wilson
  5. 5. Farsi & French editions
  6. 6. Christmas 2001• Janet• Millicent• Lester• Reah Janise
  7. 7. “Your updates are among the mostimportant emails I receive. They bothinspire and educate. Keep up the greatwork." –Steve Krueger, KPLU radio Photo Credit: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
  8. 8. UC Santa Barbara
  9. 9. Speaking at European Parliament, Brussels
  10. 10. Warning of Collapse• In contrast, natural scientists see an economy destroying its natural supports• Humanity is running up against the natural limits of aquifers, soils, fisheries, forests, even our atmosphere• In system after system, our collective demands are overshooting what nature can provide How can we assume that the growth of an economic system that is destroying its environmental supports can simply be projected into the long-term future? Photo Credit: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
  11. 11. Three Indicators to Watch Economic Social Political Number of Food Prices Hunger Rates Failing StatesThese indicators help give a sense of how close to theedge our civilization may be. Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Elenathewise, Sean_Warren, zabelin
  12. 12. Italian & Japanese editions
  13. 13. Yummy!Italiancuisine!
  14. 14. World Economic Forum, taping CNBC Global Players
  15. 15. “Lester Brown is one of the pioneers andheroes of global environmentalism. Ifthe 2007 Nobel peace Prize had beenextended to a third recipient, the logicalcandidate would have been LesterBrown.” —E. O. Wilson Photo Credit: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
  16. 16. Polish & Romanian editions
  17. 17. “…a small think tank with aknack of spotting newtrends…” –Geoffrey Lean, Telegraph
  18. 18. Russian & Turkish editions
  19. 19. Eco-Economy IndicatorsPopulation Carbon EmissionsGlobal Economy Global TemperatureGrain Harvest Ice MeltingFish Catch Wind PowerForest Cover Bicycle ProductionWater Resources Solar Power
  20. 20. November 2002 "Every decision- maker and voter on the planet should read and study this thought-provoking book.” –Wildlife Activist
  21. 21. Water Shortages Countries Overpumping Aquifers in 2010 Country Population• Overpumping produces Millions food bubbles that burst Afghanistan 29 when water supplies dry up China India 1,354 1,214 Iran 75• In the Arab Middle East, a Iraq 31 collision between Israel 7 Jordan 6 population growth and Lebanon 4 water supply is reducing Mexico 111 Morocco 32 regional grain harvests Pakistan 185 Saudi Arabia 26• If multiple food bubbles South Korea 49 burst at nearly the same Spain 45 Syria 23 time, the resulting food Tunisia 10 shortages could cause United States 318 Yemen 24 chaos Total 3,545 S ource: EPI with population data from UNPop Photo Credit: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
  22. 22. Gianfranco Bologna, head ofWWF-Italy and mastermindbehind Italian translations
  23. 23. London: Interview
  24. 24. Honorary Degree: Westminster College, PA
  25. 25. “We receive the regular e-mail updatesfrom the Earth Policy Institute and findthem very enlightening. In fact they arefundamental in molding our opinionsregarding the environment and theeconomy." –AgriCents, Limited Company
  26. 26. 2002 Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Race Finishers
  27. 27. Book of the Month award, OmnipediaTop Ten Book award,
  28. 28. Thai & Spanish editions
  29. 29. India (English) and Danish editions
  30. 30. Plan B – Chinese ed.Winner, National Library of China book award
  31. 31. “Lester R. Brown, one of theworld’s preeminent eco-economists…has a solution fordealing with the threat…Plansmust be periodically revised andrefined, which Brown has donewith insight and foresight in thisvolume.” - ODE
  32. 32. The Poverty – Education – Population Connection• School lunch Female Secondary Education and Total Fertility Rates programs help kids, especially girls, 8 stay in school 7 Earth Policy Institute - 6• Girls who stay in Total Fertility Rate 5 school longer are 4 likely to have fewer 3 children 2• Reducing family 1 size helps lift 0 2 R = 0.7058 families out of 0 20 40 60 80 Percent of Girls Enrolled in Secondary School 100 poverty Source: EPI from UIS Efforts to eliminate poverty and slow population growth reinforce each other—and they also help prevent state failure by addressing the root causes of instability.
  33. 33. NHK Program, Tokyo
  34. 34. Toshishige Kurosawa & Lester
  35. 35. Mid- AtlanticRainforest, Brazil
  36. 36. Interview with Elephant Journal, Denver
  37. 37. Janet:New Zealand speaking tour
  38. 38. Japan 2003
  39. 39. A Bright Economic Future?• The global economy has grown nearly 10- Gross World Product, 1950-2009 fold since 1950• Mainstream economists typically project 3% annual growth• In this view, an illustrious economic past is extrapolated into a promising future… Photo Credit: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
  40. 40. February 2005"... groundbreaking …" – Herbert Girardet, World Future Council Initiative
  41. 41. “I’m fine; it’s the world I‘m worried about.”
  42. 42. UK & Korean editions
  43. 43. Eroding Soils, Expanding Deserts• Overplowing, overgrazing, and deforestation make soil vulnerable to wind and water erosion• Roughly 1/3 of the world’s cropland is now losing topsoil faster than it can be re-formed• Topsoil loss reduces productivity, eventually leading farmers and herders to abandon their land• Countries such as Lesotho, Haiti, Mongolia, and North Korea are losing the ability to feed themselvesWe have yet to see the full effects of two giant dust bowlsnow forming: one in northwestern China and westernMongolia, and another in the Sahel of central Africa. Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Steven Allan
  44. 44. Permanent Exhibit ofLester Brown’s books Rutgers University
  45. 45. Celebrating with Lester at Rutger’s
  46. 46. Saudi Arabia’s Bursting Bubble• Saudi Arabia became Wheat Production and Consumption in Saudi self-sufficient in wheat by Arabia, 1995-2010, with Projection to 2013 tapping a non- 3,500 replenishable aquifer to 3,000 irrigate the desert Consumption 2,500 Earth Policy Institute -• In early 2008, the Thousand Tons government announced 2,000 the aquifer was largely 1,500 depleted 1,000• The population of nearly Production 30 million could be 500 entirely dependent on imported grain by 2013 0 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 Source: USDA; EPI Saudi Arabia is the first country to publicly project how aquifer depletion will shrink its grain harvest. Photo Credit: NASA
  47. 47. Turkish & Chinese editions
  48. 48. 10-Mile Cherry Blossom Race, 2005
  49. 49. January 2006"Lester Brown should receive a Nobel Peace Prize for his new book.” –Talli Nauman, The Herald Mexico
  50. 50. Lester’s written the kind of book that when you put it down you HAVE to pick it up again! Steve Curwood ofNPR’s Living onEarthintroducing Lester,Lexington, Mass.
  51. 51. Bulgarian & Farsi editions
  52. 52. Bulgaria 2006
  53. 53. Food vs. Fuel Corn Used for Fuel Ethanol in the United States,• Rising price of oil has 1980-2010 made it profitable to turn grain into fuel• More than one fourth of the U.S. grain crop is now going to ethanol• U.S. ethanol euphoria helped double annual growth in global grain demand, raising food prices worldwide The grain needed to fill an SUV’s 25-gallon tank with ethanol once could feed one person for an entire year. Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Dave Huss
  54. 54. Testifying on the Hill: Biofuels
  55. 55. Average Global Temperature and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentrations, 1880-2010 14.8 400 Earth Policy Institute - 14.6 380 Temperature (degrees Celsius) 14.4 360 Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) Temperature 14.2 340 14.0 320 13.8 300 CO 2 13.6 280 13.4 260 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 Source: NASA GISS; NOAA ESRL; Worldwatch
  56. 56. “Lester R. Brown… offers an attractive21st-century alternative to theunacceptable business-as-usual path thatwe have been following with regard to theenvironment (Plan A), which is leading usto ‘economic decline and collapse.’”— Thomas F. Malone, American Scientist
  57. 57. French & Portuguese editions
  58. 58. The French Team:Pierre-Yves Longaretti, Philippe Vieille, and others
  59. 59. Lester and Nicolas Hulot – Paris Launching Plan B 2.0
  60. 60. Receiving the Georg and Greta Borgström Prize, Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, 2005
  61. 61. “Keep up the good work! Some ofus are getting in the habit of relyingon you all for valuable informationand solid analysis." –Eric Britton, The New Mobility Agenda Source: Getty Images
  62. 62. More States Failing Number of High-Ranking Failing States,• States fail when 2004-2009 governments lose control of 16 part or all of their territory 14 and can no longer ensure 12 their people’s security Number of Countries Earth Policy Institute - 10• As pressures from 8 population growth, water 6 shortages, climate change, 4 and food scarcity increase, state failure is both 2 spreading and deepening 0 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Source: EPI; Fund for Peace /Foreign Policy How many states can fail before our global civilization begins to unravel?
  63. 63. January 2008”Lester Brown tells ushow to build a morejust world and save theplanet from climatechange in a practical,straightforward way.We should all heed hisadvice."–President Bill Clinton
  64. 64. BOOKS ! … Off the truck and into the office
  65. 65. Books and more books … let no one say it cannot be done !
  66. 66. Raffi and Lester
  67. 67. Presentation sponsored by Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition
  68. 68. Ramping Up Renewables• Wind• Solar• Geothermal• Other: Small-scale Hydro, Tidal and Wave Power, Biomass Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Gary Milner
  69. 69. Swedish publishing team: including Doris andLars Almström (flanking Les), translators andinitiators of a Swedish Plan B movement
  70. 70. Norwegian Launch
  71. 71. Meeting with 6th-graders from Branksome Hall, Toronto
  72. 72. Meeting with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
  73. 73. Meeting with the Mayor of Seoul
  74. 74. A chat with South Korea’s Prime Minister Han Seung-soo about Plan B
  75. 75. Yul Choi, head of KFEM & Goldman Prize recipient, introducing Plan B
  76. 76. Snack time in Seoul
  77. 77. Plan B: Four Main Goals1. Stabilizing Population2. Eradicating Poverty3. Restoring the Earth’s Natural Support Systems4. Stabilizing Climate Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Joe Gough
  78. 78. University of Maryland Hall of Fame
  79. 79. "Brown is impassioned and convincing when talking about theworld’s ills and what he considers the four great goals to restoring civilization’s equilibrium…" –April Streeter,
  80. 80. Smithsonian – Living Portrait with Marc Pachter
  81. 81. Tell us about yourself …
  82. 82. … even time for family
  83. 83. October 2009"If you want to know thefuture of Planet Earth,there is one good place tolook. It is a book entitled‘Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing tosave Civilization.“—Bill Boyne, Post-Bulletin
  84. 84. Autographing books
  85. 85. Yep … it takes two !
  86. 86. Janet speaking at an NGO-sponsored eventat the UN Conference on Climate Change.
  87. 87. Advertising campaign promoting Plan B goals
  88. 88. Brazilian launch
  89. 89. Brazil’s Premiere Cultural Program: Roda Viva (artist Paul Caruso)
  90. 90. "[Plan B] is a clear and remarkablesummation of a new plan for society." –Gianfranco Bologna, World Wildlife Fund Italy
  91. 91. Raising Energy Efficiency• Buildings – Retrofits with better insulation and more efficient appliances can cut energy use by 20- 50%• Lighting – A worldwide switch to highly-efficient home, office, industrial, and street lighting would enable the world to close 705 of its 2,800 coal- fired power plants Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / James Jones
  92. 92. Launch in Tokyo Janet & Les with Soki Oda(publisher) and interpreter
  93. 93. Travel by train in Japan is so-o-o civilized.
  94. 94. Plan B Energy Efficiency Measures
  95. 95. Launch in Shanghai
  96. 96. LaunchingChinese edition Lester with Lin Zixin,mastermind of Chinese translations
  97. 97. Hosts in Beijing
  98. 98. "If people in Congress would quit protecting client industries andsquirming over polls and just listento straight-talking Cassandras likeBrown, we might stand a chance of averting climate/food disaster." –Tom Philpott, Grist Source: DOE/NREL
  99. 99. Spanish & Korean editions
  100. 100. Lester in Bogotá with Gilberto Rincon of CEID, Latin American publisher
  101. 101. Norwegian & Russian editions
  102. 102. Swedish & Italian editions
  103. 103. OverviewA World on the Edge The Response: Plan B• A Bright Economic Future? • Plan B: Four Main Goals• Warning of Collapse • Stabilizing Population and Eradicating Poverty• Three Indicators to Watch • Restoring the Earth• Precarious Global Food Situation: How Did We Get • Climate Action Plan Here? • How Do We Get There?• Food Demand Growing • Plan B Budget• Food Supply Tightening • A Wartime Mobilization• Watching the Clock • Let’s Get to Work Photo Credit: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
  104. 104. Receiving Hero award from Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
  105. 105. Lester with Junko Edahiro, head of several Japanese NGOs and author
  106. 106. 2010: A Year of Extremes• 2010 tied with 2005 as the hottest year since recordkeeping began in 1880• 19 countries set high-temperature records, most notably Pakistan, which hit 128.3 °F, a new record for all of Asia• Extreme weather events included flooding in Pakistan and Australia, the heat wave in Russia, fires in Israel, and landslides in China The number and severity of these events are symptomatic of instability in the climate system. Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / jansmarc
  107. 107. A World on the Edge• A gathering “perfect storm” of trends threatens to send civilization into economic and political chaos• The 2010 extreme heat wave in Russia and record flooding in Pakistan are early warnings of the global consequences we can expect if we continue with business as usual Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / jgareri
  108. 108. January 2011"[World on the Edge]manages to cover both thegrand sweep of globaltrends and the fine detailof some of the ideas beingdeveloped in response.” —Ed Crooks, Financial Times
  109. 109. Romanian ed.
  110. 110. UK/Commonwealth ed. (with distribution throughout South Asia)
  111. 111. Restoring the Earth• Planting trees• Protecting topsoil on cropland• Restoring rangelands• Restoring fisheries• Stabilizing water tables• Protecting biological diversity Total Additional Annual Cost = $110 billion Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / GeorgeClerk
  112. 112. "This is the ultimate survival guidefor our species. Lester Brown plots apath around and beyond the looming environmental abyss with courage, compassion and immense wisdom."—Jonathan Watts, Asia EnvironmentCorrespondent for The Guardian andauthor, When A Billion Chinese Jump
  113. 113. World Electricity Generation by Source in2008 and in the Plan B Economy of 2020
  114. 114. "The world is a much morehopeful place because of the work and life of Lester Brown."—Ted Glick, Policy Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network
  115. 115. So MuchAccomplished …
  116. 116. The New Geopolitics of Foodcover story by Lester Brown
  117. 117. … So Much To Do