Maurizio – Omnologos

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Lester R Brown’s Plan B’s Shaky Foundations

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The Earth Policy Institute has published an excerpt from the first chapter of Lester R Brown’s book “Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble“.

Why did they do that, one wonders? It is truly quite amazing to see how the egregiously flawed the whole thing is.

Among the citations that should be reconsidered: Paul MacCready’s computations need be replicated and carefully contextualized. The St. Matthew Island’s reindeer population collapse-by-overgrazing story has been seriously questioned by scientists and may be more relevant to indicate the dangers of a cooling climate instead (and the peculiarities of ungulate wild population sizes).

The same can be said for Easter Island, where population is unlikely to have reached 15,000 (let alone 20,000 as quoted by Brown), and the decimation was more likely caused by European germs and slave traders than anything else.

Finally, Brown advocates a yearly expenditure of $190 billion dollars just for global warming. I am sure you and me and everyone elase could do a lot more good with a lot less than that money.

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Is the planet under stress? Is civilization in trouble? Do we need a Plan B 2.0 to rescue either or both? Perhaps. Or perhaps not, based on how weak the foundations of Brown’s reasoning are.

Written by omnologos

2008/Jan/09 at 23:26:18

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