Time for Plan B?

One planet-watcher thinks we've blown it with Plan A. Out of the Earth Policy Institute comes Plan B 3.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

One planet-watcher thinks we've blown it with Plan A. Out of the Earth Policy Institute comes Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester R. Brown.

Brown believes there is only one globally deadly horseman in the apocalypse: famine. "The biggest threat to global stability is the potential for food crises in poor countries to cause government collapse. Those crises are brought on by ever worsening environmental degradation."

Plan B 3.0 was written by Brown. He says: "Plan B 3.0 is a comprehensive plan for reversing the trends that are fast undermining our future. Its four overriding goals are to stabilize climate, stabilize population, eradicate poverty, and restore the earth’s damaged ecosystems. Failure to reach any one of these goals will likely mean failure to reach the others as well.”

Seems he is arguing that rich nations and rich segments of society will not command enough resources to keep the rest of the species under control. If so, it could be the first time in history that the rulers can't continue to rule. Brown argues that the disintegrationg of the environment leads to disintegration of political systems.

According to Brown's press release: "The annual addition of 70 million people to world population is concentrated in countries where water tables are falling and wells are going dry, forests are shrinking, soils are eroding, and grasslands are turning into desert. As this backlog of unresolved problems grows, stresses mount and weaker governments begin to break down.

"The defining characteristic of a failing state is the inability of a government to provide security for its people. Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, and Pakistan are among the better known examples. Each year the number of failing states increases."

Brown calls for 80% cuts in greenhouse emissions by 2020, about 16 times more than the new proposed American law. He says we are running out of time to deal with the environmental whirlpool that is dragging nations into chaos.

So whaddaya think? Does Darwin trump Malthus? Will the rich and strong form a self-protective enclave and let the poor and poor nations self-destruct? Can you fence out environmental disaster like you fence off a fancy golf course? [poll id="137"]

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