Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester Brown was officially launched today at a press teleconference.
If you have not yet had a chance, please take a look at the Table of Contents where the entire book is available for free downloading.
And, yes, we offer the book for sale through our secure server as well. Purchasing from us helps keep our small nonprofit afloat.
Many governments today are wrestling with climate change—how to effectively cut carbon emissions while maintaining jobs and providing a steady supply of electricity. Lester Brown’s plan for cutting carbon emissions 80 percent by the year 2020 does both.
The overall goal of Plan B is to stabilize climate, stabilize population, eradicate poverty, and restore the economy’s natural support systems. The worldwide cut in net carbon emissions of 80 percent by 2020 would keep atmospheric CO2 concentrations from exceeding 400 parts per million.
As he says, “I did not ask what would be politically popular but rather what would it take to have a decent shot at saving the Greenland ice sheet and at least the larger glaciers in the mountains of Asia.”
Why focus on the Greenland ice sheet and the glaciers in the Himalayan mountains and on the Tibetan plateau? Because the ice melt from these glaciers sustains not only the dry-season flow of the Indus, Ganges, Yangtze, and Yellow rivers but also the irrigation systems that depend on them. Without these glaciers, many Asian rivers would cease to flow during the dry season. Unfortunately these glaciers are melting and at an increasing rate.
In addition, both the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets are melting at an accelerating pace. Should they melt entirely, sea level could rise by up to six feet during this century. As Lester Brown notes, “Such a rise would inundate much of the Mekong Delta, which produces half of the rice in Viet Nam, the world’s second-ranking rice exporter. Even a three-foot rise in sea level would cover half the riceland in Bangladesh, a country of 160 million people. And these are only two of Asia’s many rice-growing river deltas.”
These are just some of the reasons Lester Brown outlines in Plan B 4.0 as to why we need to implement Plan B—and quickly.
In my next blog entry, I will talk about some of the encouraging trends showing that progress is being made.
In the meantime, check out the entire book at the Table of Contents page.
Reah Janise Kauffman
p.s. You can listen to Lester talking about Plan B 4.0 on Michio Kaku's Explorations in Science radio program this week and Ira Flatow's NPR program Science Friday this Friday at 2:30 pm EDT.
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