Green News & Opinion

63 Articles by Lester Brown

Reclaiming the Streets

Cars promise mobility, and in a largely rural setting they provide it. But in an urbanizing world, where more than half of us live in cities, there is an inherent conflict between the automobile and the city. After a point, as their numbers multiply, automobiles provide not mobility but immobility ... keep reading

Written by Lester Brown in May 2010, about Air Quality, Children and Families, Climate Change, Coal & Oil, Emissions, Industry & Business, Lifestyle & Behavior, Politics & Government, Pollution, Smart Growth, Transport, Travel

Taxpayer Dollars Subsidizing Destruction

One way to correct market failures is tax shifting—raising taxes on activities that harm the environment so that their prices begin to reflect their true cost and offsetting this with a reduction in income taxes. A complementary way to achieve this goal is subsidy shifting. Each year the world ... keep reading

Written by Lester Brown in April 2010, about Children and Families, Climate Change, Coal & Oil, Economics, Education, Finance & Money, Industry & Business, Lifestyle & Behavior, Politics & Government

On Rooftops Worldwide, A Solar Water Heating Revolution

The harnessing of solar energy is expanding on every front as concerns about climate change and energy security escalate, as government incentives for harnessing solar energy expand, and as these costs decline while those of fossil fuels rise. One solar technology that is really beginning to take off is the ... keep reading

Written by Lester Brown in March 2010, about Architecture, Children and Families, Clean Technologies, Design, Economics, Industry & Business, Lifestyle & Behavior, Solar

Smarter Grids, Appliances and Consumers

More and more utilities are beginning to realize that building large power plants just to handle peak daily and seasonal demand is a very costly way of managing an electricity system. Existing electricity grids are typically a patchwork of local grids that are simultaneously inefficient, wasteful, and dysfunctional in that ... keep reading

Written by Lester Brown in February 2010, about Children and Families, Climate Change, Design, Energy Saving, Events, Industry & Business, Lifestyle & Behavior, Politics & Government, Smart Growth (1 comment)

Data Highlights: US Feeds Quarter of its Grain to Cars, While Hunger is on the Rise

The 107 million tons of grain that went to U.S. ethanol distilleries in 2009 was enough to feed 330 million people for one year at average world consumption levels. More than a quarter of the total U.S. grain crop was turned into ethanol to fuel cars last year ... keep reading

Written by Lester Brown in January 2010, about Agriculture & Food, Biofuels & Alternative Energy, Children and Families, Climate Change, Coal & Oil, Design, Economics, Environmental Disasters, Finance & Money, Food, Industry & Business, Lifestyle & Behavior, Politics & Government

America's Century-Long Love Affair with the Car May be Coming to an End

Between 1950 and 2008 more cars were added to our roads virtually every year as the total fleet expanded steadily from 49 million to 250 million vehicles. In 2009, however, 14 million cars were scrapped while only 10 million cars were sold, shrinking the fleet by 4 million vehicles, or ... keep reading

Written by Lester Brown in January 2010, about Coal & Oil, Economics, Electric vehicles, Emissions, Finance & Money, Industry & Business, Lifestyle & Behavior, Politics & Government, Transport

Growing Demand for Soybeans Threatens Amazon Forest

Some 3,000 years ago, farmers in eastern China domesticated the soybean. In 1765, the first soybeans were planted in North America. Today the soybean occupies more U.S. cropland than wheat. And in Brazil, where it spread even more rapidly, the soybean is invading the Amazon rainforest. For close ... keep reading

Written by Lester Brown in January 2010, about Agriculture & Food, Children and Families, Design, Earth, Soil, & Landscape, Environment & Wildlife, Environmental Disasters, Food, Industry & Business, Lifestyle & Behavior, Politics & Government (1 comment)

The Localization of Agriculture

In the United States, there has been a surge of interest in eating fresh local foods, corresponding with mounting concerns about the climate effects of consuming food from distant places and about the obesity and other health problems associated with junk food diets. This is reflected in the rise in ... keep reading

Written by Lester Brown in December 2009, about Agriculture & Food, Children and Families, Consumerism, Earth, Soil, & Landscape, Economics, Education, Food, Industry & Business, Lifestyle & Behavior

A Hotter Planet Means Less On Our Plates

In the Sunday November 22, 2009 issue of Outlook in the Washington Post, Lester Brown discussed the significant implications of food security in the upcoming Copenhagen Conference. As the U.N. climate-change conference in Copenhagen approaches, we are in a race between political tipping points and natural ones. Can we ... keep reading

Written by Lester Brown in November 2009, about Agriculture & Food, Children and Families, Climate Change, Consumerism, Economics, Education, Environmental Disasters, Food, Industry & Business, Lifestyle & Behavior, Politics & Government, Pollution

Three Models of Social Change

Can we change fast enough? When thinking about the enormous need for social change as we attempt to move the world economy onto a sustainable path, I find it useful to look at various models of change. Three stand out. One is the catastrophic event model, which I call the ... keep reading

Written by Lester Brown in November 2009, about Action, Protest, & Activism, Children and Families, Climate Change, Coal & Oil, Design, Economics, Education, Environmental Disasters, Events, Finance & Money, Industry & Business, Lifestyle & Behavior, Philosophy & Religion, Politics & Government, Population, Poverty & Development, Rivers, Lakes, and Oceans, Smart Growth

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