From Publishers Weekly
Brown, founder of the Earth Policy Institute, believes that "we can build an economy that does not destroy its natural support systems, a global community where the basic needs of all the earth's people are satisfied, and a world that will allow us to think of ourselves as civilized." Brown (Eco-Economy) backs up his argument with clear and well-reasoned text that outlines how to solve the world's severe environmental problems. According to Brown, the earth's populations are currently living in a bubble economy based on reckless consumption of natural resources. Because of water shortages, soil erosion and rising temperatures, grain production has seriously fallen off. If this situation continues, especially in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent, hunger and disease will prevail and lead to disastrous consequences for the entire world. Drawing on careful research, Brown outlines the details of Plan B, a committed global cooperative effort to raise water and land productivity, cut carbon emissions and stabilize population growth before time runs out. He provides many individual success stories, such as the Netherlands' embrace of the bicycle for transportation instead of the environmentally poisonous automobile. Since 1989, Iran has cut its spiraling population growth through education and access to contraception. In this measured plea, Brown points out that for Plan B to be adopted worldwide, it desperately needs the leadership of the U.S., as the wealthiest nation on earth, to change its focus and resources from a military presence to one that fosters a global economy that will sustain generations to come.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
For the past three decades, Brown has expressed his viewpoints on environmentalism through his advocacy organization, gaining publicity for his proposals through books such as this. His current two-part program to save the planet as outlined here would have developed countries increase their aid to less developed countries by $62 billion annually to support educational and health programs (to reduce population growth), and would impose punitive taxes on petroleum (to halve carbon dioxide emissions). Knowing the political improbability of even sympathetic Democrats realizing the latter idea (the Clinton administration proposed, but Congress disposed of, a BTU tax), Brown suggests that a concomitant reduction in income taxes will turn the trick. His prescriptions aside, Brown's text serves as an information resource, essentially reviewing recent literature about deleterious environmental conditions (e.g., melting ice caps), and the green technologies he favors (e.g., wind farms). Libraries may expect some interest in this call to action. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved