Plan B: The New Silent Spring

South Cascade Glacier '28, '79, '03

South Cascade Glacier '28, '79, '03

In nature nothing exists alone.

Rachel Carson

Back in 1962, Rachel Carson‘s landmark book was a deeply felt cry of undeniable proof about the growing dangers of pesticides and chemicals.

Today, we pump 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere as if it were an open sewer.

Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In the Northern Hemisphere, thaws come a week earlier in spring and freezes begin a week later.

The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century’s last two decades were the hottest in 400 years according to a number of climate studies. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.

Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004. Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Montana’s Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910.

The oceans are 30 percent more acidic than in pre-industrial times due in part to higher carbon dioxide levels. Coral reefs suffered the worst bleaching, or die-off in response to stress, ever recorded in 1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent.

There is an upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms.

Welcome the Rachel Carson of our day, Lester Brown, who thoughtfully examines the critical global issues of our time in his Plan B including fresh water scarcity, soil depletion, deforestation; desertification; fisheries collapse; habitat destruction; species extinction; extreme weather; global warming, energy policy, and human population growth and offers a positive four point solution capable of moving the global economy beyond its current decline-and-collapse path by stabilizing climate, stabilizing population, eradicating poverty, and restoring the economy’s natural support systems.

On this Earth Day open your heart to Plan B and commit to an action that will protect the earth for generations to come.

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