Lester R. Brown Quotes

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Image, The problem with water, though, is that the shortfalls don’t show up

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The problem with water, though, is that the shortfalls don't show up until the very end. You can go on pumping unsustainably until the day you run out. Then all you have is the recharge flow, which comes from precipitation. This is not decades away, this is years away. We're already seeing huge shortages in China, where the Yellow River runs dry for part of each year. The Yellow River is the cradle of Chinese civilization. It first failed to reach the sea in 1972, and since 1985 it's run dry for part of each year. For 1997 it was... Read more »

Lester R. Brown

Image, Among the environmental trends undermining our future are shrinking forests, expanding deserts,

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Among the environmental trends undermining our future are shrinking forests, expanding deserts, falling water tables, collapsing fisheries, disappearing species, and rising temperatures. The temperature increases bring crop-withering heat waves, more-destructive storms, more-intense droughts, more forest fires, and, of course, ice melting. We are crossing natural thresholds that we cannot see and violating deadlines that we do not recognize.

Lester R. Brown

Image, The foundation is being laid for the emergence of both wind and

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The foundation is being laid for the emergence of both wind and solar cells as cornerstones of the new energy economy. World wind generating capacity grew from 7,600 megawatts in 1997 to 9,600 in 1998, an expansion of 26 percent. At a national level, Germany led the way, adding 790 megawatts of capacity, followed by Spain with 380 megawatts, and the United States with 226 megawatts. In the past, U.S. wind generating capacity was concentrated in California, but in 1998, wind farms began generating electricity in Minnesota, Oregon, and Wyoming, broadening the new industry's geographical base.

Lester R. Brown

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Image, Saving Greenland is both a metaphor and a precondition for saving civilization.

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Saving Greenland is both a metaphor and a precondition for saving civilization. If its ice sheet melts, sea levels will rise 23 feet. Hundreds of coastal cities will be abandoned. The rice growing river deltas of Asia will be under water. There will be hundreds of millions of rising-sea refuges. The word that comes to mind is chaos. If we cannot mobilize to save the Greenland ice sheet; we probably cannot save civilization as we know it.

Lester R. Brown