Lester Brown, author of /Plan B 4.0 Mobilizing to Save Civilization/, gave a very sobering talk tonight at CU Boulder. Basically, things are not rosy in the world. Brown called for immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2020 (not 2050), to keep concentrations of CO2 from exceeding 400 parts per million (ppm). At 380 ppm, we’re already beginning to feel the effects, and the consequences of doing nothing (aka “Business as Usual”) are catastrophic. According to Brown, we’re facing food insecurity (the number of hungry has increased to 1 billion people each year), and water shortages – (depletion of underground aquifers and rapidly disappearing glaciers that supply fresh water to a large percentage of the world’s population). Large quantities of water are used in the production of food – especially grain-fed beef; and making biofuels out corn.
Food insecurity and water shortages can lead to political instability and conflicts over resources, and environmental refugees.
Brown asked for the closing of all coal fired power plants, and instead building huge wind, solar and geothermal installations. He said we need to electrify all transportation, and tax carbon, not cap and trade. It will take a monumental effort but it’s been done before. Look at what Roosevelt did during WWII. He mandated that we shift our economy from building automobiles to manufacturing planes, ships, etc., in a matter of months to fight the war. This proves that we have the ability – now we just need the will.
Brown said that /we/ need to get involved and create change. This is a grassroots, bottom-up effort to save civilization on Planet Earth. Don’t count on the government to do it for us.
They want clean coal, carbon sequestration, and nuclear energy – a waste of time and effort.
To find out more, download Plan B 4.0 for free at:
http://www.earth-policy.org/images/uploads/book_files/pb4book.pdf, or you can find it at your local bookstore.
Thank you for the wake up call, Lester.
/(If you’re ready to get started, Clean Energy Action is working with the Beyond Coal Coalition to decarbonize our electric supply and close dirty coal-fired power plants in Colorado – www.cleanenergyaction.org; http://www.beyondcoal.net/ )/