Donate to EOS

We aim to build a network of experimental sustainable communities to demonstrate that we do have a sustainable alternative to our current socioeconomic system. Want to help us build for a sustainable future? Please donate what you can:

Thursday, 21 April 2011

A review of "Plan B" by Lester R. Brown

This book I feel starts off well.  He gives a good overview and presentation of the problems that we face, although he does seem to concentrate on the symptoms such as population pressure and water supply.  However he does seem to give some indication of understanding the core of the problem.  In the chapter on water supply he does point out exponential growth.   

Why are we in this problem?  If we live within the carrying capacity of the earth we would not have problems with water supply, we would not have population pressure.  These symptoms result from the fact that we have started pushing ourselves beyond the carrying capacity of the Earth because we live in a system that must constantly grow exponentially, precisely like the lily pond example in the book.

The book then goes on to look at a solution but a solution that aims to fix symptoms not core problem.  He goes on to talk about improving energy efficiency.  Fine, we need to do that but in a system that expands exponentially how long will it take even with the energy efficiency to end up back where we started?  This can go for many of the other measures proposed; necessary but not sufficient.  Whether we talk about designing cities for people or new manufacturing methods but unless we deal with exponential growth we achieve nothing in the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment