Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization” as Want to Read:
Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  252 ratings  ·  34 reviews
As fossil fuel prices rise, oil insecurity deepens, and concerns about climate change cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new energy economy is emerging. Wind, solar, and geothermal energy are replacing oil, coal, and natural gas, at a pace and on a scale we could not have imagined even a year ago. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, we have begun inve ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 5th 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published October 15th 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Plan B 4.0, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Plan B 4.0

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 682)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ted
I’ve been meaning to add something a bit more review-like for quite a while. Here it is.

This new material consists of two sections. The first is about the author of this book, and the second explains more about the book itself.


Lester R. Brown






(What follows is the first section from his Wiki article, with a bit of editing. Emphases are mine. The following sections of this article provide fascinating reading about a man who has evolved from a New Jersey tomato farmer to become one of the world’s a
...more
Miki
By far the best book on the environment that I've read so far. Well written and researched, Brown reviews all aspects of the environmental challenges we face today and proposes solutions (with budgets) to our problems.

The book is revised every few years and available for free (audio or text) at http://www.earth-policy.org/books/pb4...


Chapter headings are listed below.
1. Selling Our Future
2. Population Pressure: Land and Water
3. Climate Change and the Energy Transition
4. Stabilizing Climate: An E
...more
Emily
"Plan B is far more ambitious than anything the world has ever undertaken, an initiative that has no precedent in either scale or urgency. It has four components: cutting
net carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2020, stabilizing population at 8 billion or lower, eradicating poverty, and restoring the earth’s natural systems, including its soils, aquifers, forests, grasslands, and fisheries. The ambitiousness of this plan
is not driven by perceived political feasibility but by scientific reality
...more
Adam Cherson
I rate this book a 4.05 on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being best. Of all the books on the environmental crisis, this is one of the most data driven and that's why I rate it highly.

Chap. 8: Preserving our natural resources will take $93B per year. (Does not include climate change expense).

>>

A strategy for eradicating poverty will not succeed if an economy's environmental support systems are collapsing. If croplands are eroding and harvests are shrinking, if water tables are falling and wells
...more
Mark
400 million people are today being fed by overpumping aquifers. With world-wide aquifers being depleted, the water-based foot bubble is about to burst. In fact, it is the view of the author that the price of grain is now tied inseparably to the price of oil, and that future wars in the Middle East will more likely be fought over water than oil.

The point of Plan B 4.0 is that we cannot continue with business as usual. We are in a race between political tipping points and natural tipping points. W
...more
Kerry
Well written, easy to follow, and seems to be reasonably researched. I do question whether parts of the plan would be as simple as he states, even though he does not state that they are very simple. Definitely worth reading and I would like to see an updated copy, as this is a few years old and those few years have most likely made the situations described worse, not better.

This book cannot really be judged on a Liked, Really Liked, ... basis. The first few chapters should make you scared for th
...more
Will
This is a book written by someone who's clearly an optimist: two thirds of the book detail a work plan for transitioning to sustainable energy systems and reducing our impact on aquifers and on the topsoil to the point where we're not riding a "food bubble" until it pops.

That being said, there are some parts of the book that don't quite add up. He talks about mitigation almost exclusively rather than adaption. He does not go into the economic consequences of oil shock, and he doesn't complete th
...more
Evan
Required reading for both sides of the energy debate, although we are long overdue for 5.0! Would love to see an update, especially since there were many projections, good and bad, that were made for the interval between 2008 and 2013.

I docked a star because the author dismisses analyzing whether the policies he proposes can reasonably be expected to be implemented. I strongly disagree - the author is essentially telling the opposition to please desist in their complaints and just allow us to r
...more
Allee
Maybe its because I've been working in a part of the environmental movement for the past 6 months, but nothing in this book was really new or groundbreaking to me. So it kind of read as an overly broad and simplistic manifesto. And I guess I appreciate the tone of "we can do it!", and to be fair it was written before the current crop of GOP crazies swept in, but politically it just aint gonna happen that we go to all renewable energy by 2020. I think we do have the technology, money, and knowhow ...more
Joseph
It's easy to be depressed by the major challenges facing the planet and the seeming lack of will or ability by our elected officials to do anything serious about it, but Plan B 4.0 gave me more optimism and specific ideas about how we might make this change than anything I've read before. Brown has been revising this book for many years, so "4.0" is the latest version. Thus its ideas are very contemporary and clearly reflect a deep base of knowledge of the political and economic realities surrou ...more
Mavis
I really enjoyed this book. It was very informative and the amount of research involved in the production of this book was impressive. I also like that he doesn't dwell on just climate change, rather he discusses the social and environmental changes that are needed to sustain our society indefinitely. However, at times I experienced 'information overload' because there were so many numbers and statistics being given. The information flowed well, there was just a lot of stats involved in his expl ...more
Linda
The author covered a lot of ground in an organized and understandable manner. Readers learn about the issues facing our planet and people as well as some possible solutions. I did get bogged down in the numbers and details a few times.

One thing that set the book apart from others I’ve read is the author dealt with the topic of population which can be a touchy subject. Any solution for addressing climate change and environmental restoration needs to address stabilizing earth’s population, helping
...more
Shankar
A book which shakes you up to the reality of the climate change crisis and unlike other doomsday writings, provides you with an optimistic blueprint to save the earth.
I would have loved it even more if he had added notes on how challenging each step of the blueprint would be. This book was written a couple of years ago and already current events have scraped off some of the optimism.
But nevertheless, it still is a very important book for anyone who is concerned about the environment.
Greg Horstmann
Macroeconomics is more interesting than you think. I've always enjoyed mechanisms in drugs, cars, politics, ecology. Many if/then statements played out. Its even more interesting with this subject in that the stakes are so high and the rewards are so potentially satisfying. too bad the public will probably be too lazy to keep up with us until they are motivated by even More inconvenient circumstances such as price hikes on products or lower quality living.
Matthew
Nice to read a book about the coming environmental catastrophe that isn't simply gloomy. Brown not only tells us the bad news--that business as usual isn't going to cut it--but gives a plan that seems surprisingly doable and, more importantly, points out how much money it will cost. Spoiler: it's less than the United States is currently spending on defense. Reading it two years after publication, I'm pleased to see that we're making some progress.
Chris
Umm, so unless we cut CO2 by 80% in 7 years human civilization on the planet will likely be over! (Seriously.) We're all in for a really rough ride over the next 50 years. Why 5 starts. Well, because he's right. He has concrete steps of what we should do. Really feel like Obama should have made climate change happen instead of health care.
Joe
Mr. Brown's analysis is flawless, his logic undeniable, and makes a good case for his suggestions being implemented sooner rather than when disaster strikes.

My personal opinion is that a decade or 2 from now, after disaster strikes, The-Powers-That-Be will deny any forewarning or that the disasters could have possibly been avoided.
Rutabaga
Had to read this for class. It's not bad in terms of providing an overview of the problems we face and the possible solutions. But the proposed solutions are decidedly market based, assuming government intervention to fix market failures. It just doesn't strike me as very plausible given government reluctance to address climate change.
Dave
Critical examination of our exploitation of global resources, the consequences, and what we can do to get our civilization back on track for sustainable growth through smart energy, food, water, and poverty policies. Available for free download here http://www.earth-policy.org/images/up...
Alisha Hanson-Glatzel
The first couple of chapters are fairly doom and gloom. Interesting stat's about all the why's and how's we got here but chapter 4 explodes with details that are tangible and easy to comprehend. I'm easily excitable, but I'm really getting pumped - I think we just might be able to pull this thing off.

Victoria Collins
Do you think about changing things? Do you have the impression that we should probably do something to protect the environment, to feed the hungry and improve our well-being. If you do, and even if you don't, you should read this book. It'll give you the why and how of what we should change and now.
Erwin Sutiono
Lester Brown gives a brief description of global crisis and stepwise solutions to them. Written with such details and with concrete solutions included, this book is worth a read as a brief yet resourceful summary to the condition that the world is in now.
Elizabeth
As heard on "The World" from PRI.

Also: heard on The World Beyond the Headlines.
Peter Michael
This single most important book you will ever read not only irrefutably documents the mounting environmental damage caused by the global species infestation of humans but lays out how to stop and reverse the damage, "Plan B."
Luke Reisdorf
A must read for anyone who wants to confront the main challenges facing our globe today. This data dense book both proposes the seemingly impossible and argues convincingly that we can arise to the occasion.
Filip Jovakaric
Great book! A lot, if not all, global and environmental problems are presented here with great solutions from around world.

I would recommend it to anyone who wants to help in improving our only planet.
Lisa
Liked the idea; didn't like the delivery. Too many false comparisons and twisted figures. It reads more like hellfire and brimstone than reasoned fact. Not really my style.
Erica
Informative and well researched, Plan B 4.0 delves into hot topics such as water conservation, smart grids and energy efficiency. A must have for policy.
Larkyn Rhea
Everyone should read this book. What is happening to our environment is a tragedy. We each need to become aware and then do our part.
Jennifer
I read this book for my Facets of Sustainability Class. I enjoyed reading it as it was very straightforward and easy to follow.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of "Energy Independence"
  • Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World
  • Ecological Design
  • Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage
  • Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy
  • The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century
  • Food Politics
  • With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change
  • Empire of Debt: The Rise of An Epic Financial Crisis
  • Drugs, Oil & War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia & Indochina
  • The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web
  • Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization
  • The Aye-Aye and I: A Rescue Mission in Madagascar
  • A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order
  • Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Pentagon's New Map
  • Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms
  • Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities
523438
Lester Russell Brown is an American environmentalist, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. BBC Radio commentator Peter Day calls him "one of the great pioneer environmentalists."

In the mid-1970s, Brown helped pioneer the concept of sustainable development, during a career that start
...more
More about Lester Russell Brown...
Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble (Updated and Expanded Edition) World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity Eco-Economy

Share This Book