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World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse Paperback – January 6, 2011
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This book is one of the best summaries of the current global environment crisis. Check out what the book says about the global water crisis and the global crisis of fisheries. In reading this book, it is hard not to get angry with our world's leaders, particularly those in the rich nations. There are so many solutions to global problems that have been known for years such as drip irrigation but these are not being adopted on anywhere near the scale that is needed.
The best part of the book is Chapter 13, "Saving Civilization". If you have a limited amount of time read this. This details solutions. Brown even has a global environmental reform budget, $110 billion a year, a tiny sum in global standards that could do so much for environment but it's not being done.
My problems with the book rest with overly optimistic predictions. According to most respected predictions the share of coal will rise in the next ten years in the world energy production. Wind and solar power are still a tiny fraction of world energy production. However, in spite of these faults this book is very worthwhile.
Brown is right on target with his view that America needs nothing less than a national mobilization similar to what we did in World War II.
If you go to my profile, I have a Listmania list of books related to Future Watch Studies.
It gets four stars for reasons I outline in passing below. The author has his pet rocks, they are all here, but NOT in this book can one find corruption, disease, mercury, rare earths, a strategic analytic model that is holistic, actual true costs across the spectrum of options, or a strategic analytic model.
However, and this is strong praise, if you are going to get only one book by Lester Brown, this is the book to get. There are others I recommend, including High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them, and A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility--Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, the latter also free online.
Here are highlights, generally things I did not know and thought worth putting into my notes.
+ 2020 could be the ultimate recession
+ We need a massive mobilization at wartime speed -- but I have a negative annotation, "Old C4I mindset?" In my thinking, and all the books I am reading on cognitive surplus, web 4.Read more ›
In a poignant piece in the Sunday January 16, 2010 Washington Post, Susan Eisenhower, Ike's granddaughter reminds us of another great American's look into our future with this quote from his January, 1961 farewell address, more famous for his warning about our burgeoning "military industrial complex", but more important when he said, "We . . . must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."
Not quite an environmental statement, but one which counsels a careful look at the future and a deep concern for next generation, even before most of us were thinking about peak oil, global warming, and the population explosion.
Born in 1931, I feel an enormous kinship with this author, as I have been an activist in the family planning field since 1965, having helped start and served on the boards of several then fledgling NGO's just when so many of these presently now well known agencies were first organized to address this primary underlying influence on all our present planetary crises.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm considering using this for an undergraduate class, but it has multiple issues. As a book drawing our attention to the looming environmental crisis it is somewhat successful -... Read morePublished 11 days ago by J. Mccaffrey
Great book with lots of details. I had to read it for school and it has the potential to change your views on climate change.Published 4 months ago by Amanda Lars
This is an extremely frightening book. It challenged many beliefs that I had. This should be required reading for everyone. Plan B is critical for the survival of our world. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Cece
This is a depressing but necessary insight to where we as a species are heading. Knowledge is power but not enough people will read and share this read and it's insight. Read morePublished 11 months ago by fholminski
A book that ALL should read, who live on planet earth. This book states many environmental facts of what is really going on with our planet.. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jeannie Mack
This is an interesting read and informs the reader that humans need to make changes for earth to continue providing us healthy environment for future generations.Published 13 months ago by S. Peterson