People in Action: Spreading the Earth Policy Institute’s Plan B Vision

This is a guest post from the Earth Policy Institute. Enjoy.

This year has been filled with catastrophic environmental events in all parts of the world. The Russian heat wave, the Pakistan flood, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Haiti earthquake, and the break off from the Petermann Glacier were all events that gave the world a major jolt. The opportunities for action to address the urgency of our failing civilization have not been more numerous, and people all over the world have heeded the call.

Each year, Earth Policy Institute (EPI) receives hundreds of letters and e-mails from people who are inspired by our work and are eager to help in building a sustainable future. They have reached out to their communities, co-workers and peers, religious groups, and elected officials to address the mounting pressures on our global environment. Like EPI President Lester Brown says, “Saving civilization is not a spectator sport.” The level of dedication we have seen from people proves this. EPI would like to highlight some of the people from around the world who have mobilized to encourage political, environmental, and social change. For more examples, take a look at our Action Center.

  • The Sciencenter, a hands-on museum in Ithaca, New York, bought 100 copies ofPlan B 4.0 and distributed them to each member of its staff, board of trustees, advisory board, city council, and county legislature.  Each has a bookplate with the words “Read. Think. Share. Act.”  The museum also invites readers globally to share stories and comments via Facebook at a special site it set up:
  • Renewable energy advocate Tom Weis is pedaling a hybrid electric bicycle 3,0000 miles from Colorado to Washington, DC to demand a U.S.-led green industrial revolution. He’ll be profiling the choice in front of us: green energy solutions like wind, solar and geothermal, or polluting energy problems like coal burning, nuclear plants, mountaintop removal mining and, of course, catastrophic oil spills. His “Ride for Renewables: 100% by 2020” was inspired, in no small part, by Lester Brown’s Plan B books. To help, or learn more, please visit:
  • Tom Kahan, a former history teacher, has been inspired by EPI to push Congress to get the market to tell the ecological truth. He has started a movement to support a green economic recovery through his website Time to Get Smarter. This includes a petition to President Obama and Congress. See his website for more information.
  • In Colombia, Giuseppe LaManna is an advocate of the Plan B initiative to cut net carbon emissions 80% by 2020. Giving presentations on global warming, he hands out copies of the Spanish edition of Plan B 4.0 to attendees.
  • Chris Hoffman of Whole Systems Consulting created an Earth-dashboard, showing the multiple indicators on how the planet is doing “as a pro bono service to the planet.” The four Dashboard clusters—Stabilize Population, Stabilize Climate, Eradicate Poverty, and Restore Earth’s Support Systems—represent the four key goals of Plan B for saving civilization.
  • Marcel de Berg in The Netherlands wants to see Plan B in action. To get this moving, he held a conference for investors in May 2010. “Breaking the Investment Barriers for Plan B” was designed to accelerate the business opportunities related to a green economy. Through a Meshwork technology, investors, government, industry, and NGOs can link up with projects, share information, and locate demand areas.
  • Beyond Zero Emissions, based in Australia, was established to reduce our levels of atmospheric greenhouse emissions NOW. Their core goal is to facilitate the implementation of the social changes and technologies that will reduce the impacts of climate change and give our society and global ecosystems a chance of surviving into the future. They have developed a plan to make Australia fully renewable by 2020.
  • Oberlin College and the City of Oberlin in Ohio have launched the “Oberlin Project,” a working model of sustainability that integrates economic revitalization, greenbuilding, education, agriculture, forestry, public policy, renewable energy, and finance into an integrated system.
  • Scholars in China have developed Plan C, based on Lester Brown’s pioneering work in Plan B, which is intended to bring China into the 21st century, enhancing social and economic development, but not at the expense of the environment.

Are you involved in disseminating the Plan B vision? We’d love to hear from you. Please write us at [email protected] and tell us your story.

Photo Credit: via flickr (CC license)

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