Geology Paper on Mobilizing to Save Civilization
Ecological sustenance has become a critical issue in the modern world as our planet continues to experience adverse effects of global warming and climate change. Numerous proposals have been raised in an attempt to understand how to limit these effects while ensuring the globe is ecologically sustained for future generations. Lester R. Brown is one of the scholars who have proposed different ways to ensure our ecological set up is maintained through his books, the Plan B group of books. In this particular case, we will focus on Plan B 4.0 Mobilizing to Save Civilization which is fourth in his line of books. The book correlates with other books by Lester R. Brown which focus on the efforts to save the earth from wilt. The book is related to the lessons learned in class that is associated with protecting the world’s ecological set up through converged efforts of every individual. As such, this paper will describe the book’s major themes while also comparing the book’s lessons with those learned in class.
In this book, Brown argues that the most compelling factor on the curtailing of carbon emissions around may be inspired by the potential food shortage. Brown insists that every environmental trend has a particularly negative effect on food supply. Brown attempts to chart a course that can lead the world towards ecological sustainability. The author specifically highlights the four steps that can be taken towards the accomplishment of this goal. Through the steps, Brown illustrates his knowledge of the relationship or the connection between human exploitation and environmental destruction. The steps that brown propose in the book include,
- Stabilize Climate
As a proposal on how to combat the climate problem, several strategies are proposed by Brown. Adoption of alternative energy is one of his advocates. According to Brown, the consistent use of the normal fuels is the main causation of the rapid climate change compounded by the heavy pollution caused by emissions from these fuels. Brown also proposes the rehabilitation of the habitat through the replanting of billions of trees which will subsequently sequester carbon. Deforestation has been a huge contributor to climate change, thus according to Brown, reforestation represents the first step the world can take towards stabilizing the climate. Another strategy is incepting an efficiency revolution paying special attention to reusing, recycling, refining materials flow, and refining urban architecture and planning.
- Stabilize Population
Another step proposed by Brown is the stabilization of the population. Overpopulation is an issue that has disturbed the globe for some decades. However, subsidizing the population has always been a sensitive issue due to historical matters of forced sterilization, racism, and eugenics among others. Brown’s strategies towards curtailing overpopulation entail empowerment and education of women, implementation of comprehensive family planning programs, universal birth control and creating government incentives towards the establishment of small families. All these are effective methodologies that can be used to curtail population growth.
- Eradicate Poverty
The third step in Brown’s book is the eradication of poverty. Brown establishes and appreciates the connection between poverty and the overall degradation of the population. Brown proposes the availing of debt relief for countries stricken with poverty. He also insists on people in developing countries increasing small gardens and simplifying their methods to make them available for every individual while he also calls for personal motivation to plant trees. His argument is that with reduced poverty, people can concentrate more on ecological sustainability.
- Restoring Earth
The fourth and final step of ecological sustainability according to Brown is the restoration of the earth. He proposes efforts that will work at restoring the globe’s natural ecosystems. According to Brown, such efforts are necessary for the protection of biodiversity. Restoring the soil is vital according to Brown, and this can be done through soil conservation measures, replanting trees, creating program parks and protecting marine zones in the ocean.
All these steps illustrate how the ecological system can be restored according to Brown. However, most of the strategies proposed by Brown on stabilizing the climate are not centered on self-sufficiency but rather centralized industrial production. On the matter of stabilizing the population, the argument lacks radical feminist analysis. In many areas, the birth of many children is usually centered on patriarchal social forms. Eradication of poverty through agriculture cannot be accomplished using fertilizers and pesticides which are a huge source of contamination.
There is a close relationship between Brown’s book and some of the lectures covered in class. The issue of ecological sustainability is closely related to lecture 5: Alfalfa to Global Climate Change. Brown mentions how environmental sustainability has moved to the forefront of global concerns in the last few years with the attention especially put on the adversities of climate change and how to reverse these adversities. The lecture focuses on the greenhouse effect with the emission of greenhouses gasses an important topic, especially the rapid increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Brown delves deep into this issue and mentions it as the main cause of climate change. According to Brown, the heat-trapping greenhouse gasses combined with other pollutants accumulate in the atmosphere causing unusual warmth of the earth’s surface. Brown indicates that the years since 1980, have been the hottest recorded years in history, a revelation that bodes well with the lecture.
Similar to the lecture, Brown’s book indicates that CO2 (63%), methane (18%) and nitrous oxide (6%) represent the largest content of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Another notable correlation between the two is the effect of the greenhouse gasses on the earth. As illustrated in the book and highlighted in the lecture, the effects of greenhouse gasses amount to rising temperatures which amount to melting ice and glaciers, and rising sea levels. It is also notable that like in the lectures, Brown highlights the effect of the greenhouse gasses which temperature rise and subsequent climate change, on agriculture or farming. According to the lecture, climate change imposes changes in the growing season. It also alters the distribution of crops especially due to CO2 and reduces water availability among others. Similarly, Brown discusses the effects that temperature rises on farming by hindering photosynthesis, which is a factor discussed in lecture 5. In addition to photosynthesis, the rising temperatures can also hinder pollination which can lead to plan dehydration.
In conclusion, Brown’s book Plan 4.0; Mobilizing to Save Civilization is an eye opener when it comes to efforts for ecological sustainability. Although some of the proposed strategies in the book are vulnerable to criticism, the ideas are revolutionary when considering the problem of ecological sustainability. The book relates with the lecture which is also about climate change. As highlighted in the paper, the connections underline how climate change is changing the global ecosystem and some of the efforts that can be used to limit the said change.
Brown, Lester R. Plan B 4.0: Mobilization to Save Civilization. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009. Print.