Books by Lester R. Brown

Released: Nov. 25, 1991

To remake our outmoded notions of economics—and to save the global environment—the Worldwatch Institute delivers a comprehensive, persuasive guide to achieving a sustainable economy based on energy efficiency and reuse, rather than waste, of resources. Using an analogy to the denial that ran rampant on the Titanic, the authors of the Institute's yearly State of the World series stress the urgent need to move away from a fossil-fuel economy in order to counteract global warming. ``Renewables'' are the key: Brown and his colleagues present tables demonstrating that wind and solar energy will create more jobs than coal and oil development will, and argue that the hazards of nuclear waste and accident obviate the viability of nuclear power. ``When it comes to solar technologies, today's political leaders, still captivated by coal and nuclear power, are akin to the steam engine's 18th-century skeptics.'' The farming of rain forests' natural products (nuts, medicines, rubber) could be substituted for clear-cutting; farming methods that prevent erosion, such as ``intercropping,'' could help feed a stable population (the authors argue that the earth, currently home to 5.4 billion people, cannot sustain more than 8 billion without catastrophic famine and disease). ``Sustainable progress'' rather than standard economic growth would take into account equity for women, the poor, other species, and future generations. Read full book review >

Worldwatch Institute's annual report on the global ecology. Read full book review >