Lester Brown, founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute and author of the recently published Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, spoke at the Council last Monday night about climate change and food insecurity. Brown acknowledges many problems with modern society, but is especially concerned with global food security, calling it “the weak link in our system.” He cited falling water tables and the melting of the polar ice caps as primary challenges to food production, but also named population growth and greater reliance on grain-based foods as other important factors. Brown has studied past civilizations that have declined and collapsed and has come to the conclusion that food security issues were behind many of these collapses. He worries that our modern global civilization could face the same problem and urged the audience to take action. Brown said that we all know the dangers global warming is having on the planet but that we should be most concerned with saving global civilization.
You can listen to the entire program here at our online audio archive. Learn more about what is being done to combat climate change by visiting the website of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Finally, be sure to attend our program on December 2, “Inside the Copenhagen Climate Negotiations,” with Daniel Kammen and Mark Levine.