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Articles by Lester Brown

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

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  • Arctic Sea Ice Freefall is Mirror Image of Carbon Dioxide Ascent

    By Emily E. Adams The amount of Arctic sea ice has plummeted in recent decades—a bold manifestation of the rise in temperature resulting from the rapid increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. After staying below 300 parts per million (ppm) for some 800,000 years, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere skyrocketed as […]

  • Peak Water and Food Scarcity

    At the international level, water conflicts among countries dominate the headlines. But within countries it is the competition for water between cities and farms that preoccupies political leaders. Neither economics nor politics favors farmers. They almost always lose out to cities. Indeed, in many countries farmers now face not only a shrinking water supply but […]

  • Many Countries Reaching Diminishing Returns in Fertilizer Use

    When German chemist Justus von Liebig demonstrated in 1847 that the major nutrients that plants removed from the soil could be applied in mineral form, he set the stage for the development of the fertilizer industry and a huge jump in world food production a century later. Growth in food production during the nineteenth century […]

  • India’s Dangerous ‘Food Bubble’

    By Lester R. Brown India is now the world’s third-largest grain producer after China and the United States. The adoption of higher-yielding crop varieties and the spread of irrigation have led to this remarkable tripling of output since the early 1960s. Unfortunately, a growing share of the water that irrigates three-fifths of India’s grain harvest […]