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Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (Substantially Revised) Paperback – January 17, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Substantially Revised edition (January 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393330877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393330878
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #944,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“This book provides excellent insights for academics, students and lay readers alike... in tackling a host of pressing issues in a single book, Plan B 2.0 makes for an eye-opening read.” (The Times Higher Education Supplement)

“Brown is an effective Cassandra. His picture of climate-change-induced chaos is terrifying and convincing.” (Andrew Simms - New Scientist)

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.

More About the Author

LESTER R. BROWN, founder and President of Earth Policy Institute, has been described by the Washington Post as "one of the world's most influential thinkers" and as "the guru of the global environmental movement" by The Telegraph of Calcutta. The author of numerous books, including World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, chapters, articles, etc., he helped pioneer the concept of environmentally sustainable development. His principal research areas include food, population, water, climate change, and renewable energy. The recipient of scores of awards and honorary degrees, he is widely sought as a speaker. In 1974, he founded Worldwatch Institute, of which he was President for its first 26 years. As President, he launched the World Watch Papers, the Worldwatch/Norton books, the annual State of the World, World Watch magazine, the annual Vital Signs, and the Institute's News Briefs. For relaxation, Lester runs

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 35 customer reviews
Plan B 3.0 by Lester Brown is as good as it gets.
Geoffrey Holland
One great reason to buy this book: If you think that there's nothing wrong with the way humans live today, that we can keep our excess and carelessness going forever.
A. Sutton
Brown advocates mobilization in his new book, a reflection on the scale of the challenge and the "wartime speed" of the response that is called for.
Jim Harrigan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 147 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have followed Lester Brown's dedication to evaluating the state of our planet for over a decade, and wrote to the Nobel Committee urging them to recognize him, Herman Daly, and Paul Kawkins and the two Lovins instead of Al Gore. They have all done a great deal more of the heavy lifting.

I decided to purchase this book when Medard Gabel, creator of the analog World Game with Buchminster Fuller, gave me a budget for saving the planet that totals no more than $230 billion a year (at a time when we spend $1.3 trillion waging war).

I've gone through the book and consider it to be a best in class effort, a seminal work no one else on the planet could have produced. In the author's chosen area of focus, there is no other book like this one. However, some other books are easier to read and understand, such as High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them, and others do a better job of addressing all ten high-level threats to Humanity and Earth, such as A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility--Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.

Here are a few highlights:

+ Book is offered free online (but the hard copy is much better deal, easier to work with, mark up and return to as a reference....use the online version to search for specifics.

+ The Introduction is clear and inspiring. This book is loaded with carefully collected facts ably presented.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Holland on January 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third iteration of the Plan B series. They just keep getting better. This book delivers beautifully in laying out the unprecedented challenges faced by humanity as we move into the 21st century. Plan B thoughtfully examines the critical global issues of our time: fresh water scarcity, soil depletion, deforestation; desertification; fisheries collapse; habitat destruction; species extinction; extreme weather; global warming, energy policy, and human population growth. Though the subject matter is sobering, it is presented in highly engaging and convincing fashion. Lester Brown and his support team show that we humans are our own worst enemy. But the book is hardly all gloom and doom. There is a decidedly wise and positive course offered in these pages. Plan B shows that we are capable of cleaning up the mess we have made of our planet. It includes a clear, reasonable, and immanently doable public policy blueprint that offers hope for an equitable, life affirming, and environmentally sustainable future for all life on Earth. Anyone interested in a single volume that will get them up to speed on the world's most pressing issues should look no farther. Plan B 3.0 by Lester Brown is as good as it gets.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Future Watch Writer on January 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lester Brown is the creator of Worldwatch Institute. I have read every one of its State of the World Reports since the first one came out in 1984.

A few years ago he quit Worldwatch and founded a new organization, the Earth Policy Institute.

This book provides answers about what to do. Too many environmentalists seem to concentrate 99% of their efforts on talk of gloom and doom and only 1% of their efforts to realistic, practical ideas about what to do about the very real problems they worry about. By contrast, Brown and his staff at Earth Policy Institute have taken the time to put together a game plan about how to create a genuinely sustainable society. Nobody is going to agree with all their ideas. I'm a bit skeptical about some of the cost estimates. However, at least Brown has cost estimates. Sadly, very few people or organizations have put togther the kind of detailed plan that is presented here. Buy this book. Read it. Think about it. Discuss it. It creates a solid framework for debate about our planet's future. For anybody who is interested I have lists of some other good books and documentary films on similar subjects on my Amazon profile page.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Unless you've been taking the sleep cure in Switzerland for the last few years, skip the first section of Lester R. Brown's book. "A civilization in trouble" --- roger that, and the details will only send you looking for Wellbutrin. You're a Solutions Person, you want the memo that suggests ways we can turn this planetary tipping point into a transformational opportunity. And in Part II, "The Response", Brown delivers.

Control population, educate the poor. Everyone sane says this. But Brown knows better ways to help that along than the usual entreaties. Like: Mexico, where "a well-written soap opera can have a profound short-term effect on population growth." Consider: The day after a soap-opera character visited a literacy office on TV, 250,000 followed his example --- in one day --- in Mexico City. Across the country that season, 600,000 more Mexicans enrolled in literacy courses.

Move down the food chain. Michael Pollan can show you how.

Acknowledge that the suburbs are museums of the recent past; re-engineer cities to make them more people-friendly. That means parks, bike lanes, better and more buses. "On my bike, I estimate I get easily 7 miles per potato," Brown writes. Not a bad line from a thinker who heads the Earth Policy Institute. Not bad ideas, given that "by 2020 close to 55 percent of us will be living in cities."

Use less energy. Prime energy wasters: the gold and bottled water industries. You know about bottled water, of course; you use home filters and carry SIGG bottles. Still, it is bracing to recall that American bottled water companies burn about 50 million barrels of oil --- a year.

Switch to renewable energy. Here Brown hits his stride, and his list of countries using natural sources of power will brighten your day.
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