Plan B 2.0

Plan B 2.0

Infobox Book
name = Plan B 2.0
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author = Lester R. Brown
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language = English
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release_date = 2006
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pages = 352
isbn = ISBN 0393328317
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"Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble" is a book, published in 2006, by environmentalist and Earth Policy Institute founder Lester R. Brown. The 2008 edition is titled - Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization


Lester Brown presents an action plan for ending severe poverty and reversing the deterioration of our planetary life support systems that could be implemented with only very moderate external change to our current national and international structures and ways of doing business. The book clearly summarizes in just 120 pages the immediate challenges that face us, including world oil production peaking just as demand from China and India is dramatically increasing, rapidly declining ground water tables worldwide, increasing climate chaos associated with global warming, plus eroding topsoil, rapidly advancing deserts, and collapsing fisheries, on top of which population continues to increase. In the next 140 pages Lester presents a hope-filled comprehensive plan with itemized price tags for stabilizing population and quickly lifting a third of humanity out of desperate poverty, plus a second comprehensive plan with itemized price tags for rapidly reversing our destruction of the earth’s natural productivity. He describes a variety of new technologies and programs that are already working amazingly well and that obviously could be rapidly scaled up. In brief, he describes how our existing extractive world economy is right now hitting hard resource limits and will likely self-destruct in the near future with extreme consequences, and he shows how practical and inexpensive it would be to convert to “an environmentally sustainable economy.”

His total price to fund the programs necessary to quickly end the worst poverty and convert to a sustainable economy is $161 billion per year. To put this sum in perspective, consider that the gross revenues of ExxonMobil in 2006 were $377 billion, with $39 billion in profit. Consider also that the Congressional Budget Office estimated in April 2006 that if a gradual phase out began in 2006, the total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would come to $811 billion. That sum would pay for five years of Plan B. Five years of Plan B would go a long way toward eliminating the reasons to fight resource wars.

Lester Brown is considered by some people to be the world’s foremost authority on the state of the earth in relation to the demands of the human population. Starting out farming tomatoes while he went to college, he earned an agriculture degree from Rutgers, a masters in agricultural economics from the University of Maryland, and a masters in public administration from Harvard. Since his first book in 1963, he has authored or co-authored fifty books on world resources and our food supply. In 1974 he founded the Worldwatch Institute, the first research foundation devoted to the analysis of global environmental issues. From 1984 to 2001, he published an annual State of the Earth book that summarized current data and developments regarding world resources and world population. The mission of his current research foundation, the Earth Policy Institute, “is to provide a vision of what an environmentally sustainable economy will look like, a roadmap of how to get from here to there, and an ongoing assessment of this effort.”

External links

* [ Text of entire book, available for download]
* [ Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (2008)] -- new edition

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