Lester Brown

Lester R. Brown is founder and president of Earth Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Follow EPI: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn

Low carb diet

U.S. feeds one 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 …

America's Century-Long Love Affair with the Car May Be Coming to an End – Data Highlights

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 …

fleeting sales

U.S. car fleet shrank by four million in 2009

America’s century-old love affair with the automobile may be coming to an end. The U.S. fleet has apparently peaked and started to decline. In 2009, the 14 million cars scrapped exceeded the 10 million new …

Bean there, done that

Soybeans threaten Amazon rainforest

Photo courtesy Kanko* via FlickrSome 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 …

Ice Melting Faster Everywhere

This Eco-Economy Indicator is written by my colleague Alexandra Giese, a staff researcher at the Earth Policy Institute. From the Arctic sea ice to the Antarctic interior and the mountainous peaks of Peru, Alaska, and …

Stabilizing Climate: Beyond International Agreements

Note: the following was written in July 2009, before the Copenhagen climate change conference. From my pre-Copenhagen vantage point, internationally negotiated climate agreements are fast becoming obsolete for two reasons. First, since no government wants …

Selling our future

In Chapter 1 of Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, I underscore important indicators of global stability and resource consumption.  The following are summaries of key datasets that inform these discussions. Each year, the …

China Challenging the United States for World Wind Leadership

This Eco-Economy Indicator is written by my colleague J. Matthew Roney, a staff researcher at the Earth Policy Institute. It stresses the importance of wind energy development. Leadership of the global wind market is about …

nearly grown

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 …

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