Time for Plan B?

first_imgLester Brown and the first Plan B book, published in 2003. There have been three subsequent editions. Photo: Earth Policy InstituteDear EarthTalk: Some friends of mine were talking about a book called “Plan B” that proposes a plan for rescuing the environment and ending poverty around the world. Is it a realistic plan or just some utopian pipe dream? — Robin Jackson, Richmond, VAWhat started as a book has grown into a movement known as “Plan B” which presents a roadmap for achieving worldwide goals of stabilizing both population and climate. According to Lester Brown, author of the 2003 book, Plan B (and three subsequent updates) and founder of the non-profit environmental think tank, Earth Policy Institute, the plan is based on replacing the fossil-fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economy with a new economic model powered by abundant sources of renewable energy.Brown argues for transportation systems that are diverse and aim to maximize mobility, widely employing light rail, buses and bicycles. “A Plan B economy comprehensively reuses and recycles materials,” he says. “Consumer products from cars to computers are designed to be disassembled into their component parts and completely recycled.”Brown even proposes a budget for eradicating poverty, educating the world’s youth and delivering better health care for everyone. “It also presents ways to restore our natural world by planting trees, conserving topsoil, stabilizing water tables, and protecting biological diversity,” says Brown. “With each new wind farm, rooftop solar water heater, paper recycling facility, bicycle path, marine park, rural school, public health facility, and reforestation program, we move closer to a Plan B economy.”Plan B is an integrated program with four interdependent goals: cutting net carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2020, stabilizing population at eight billion or lower, eradicating poverty, and restoring the Earth’s natural systems. Where Plan B really hits home is in the numbers: Brown puts realistic dollar values on the various aspects of his plan, and compares these costs with current military spending. Needless to say, restoring the environment and economy looks like a bargain when viewed against what the developed nations of the world spend on being ready for battle.The beauty of Plan B is that it is feasible with current technologies and could well be achieved by 2020 with a concerted international effort. Brown reportedly wrote the latest incarnation of Plan B as a warning call for leaders of the world to begin “mobilizing to save civilization” given that time is more than ever of the essence. Luminaries from Bill Clinton to E.O. Wilson to Ted Turner have spoken highly of Plan B, and at least one university (Cal State at Chico) has made the latest version of the book (Plan B 4.0) required reading for all incoming freshmen. 1 2last_img read more

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The Festy Line Up

first_img2012 tickets go on sale Wednesday, May 16thThe three thousand or so music fans who packed the nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville on Saturday night for Blue Ridge Mountain Sports’ 40th birthday party – which featured music from Sarah White, Sons of Bills, and The Infamous Stringdusters – got a bit of an extra treat:  the initial line up announcement for The Festy Experience, the hottest new festival in the Southeast.Hosted by The Infamous Stringdusters, and taking place on the grounds of The Devil’s Backbone Brewery in Nelson County, Virginia, The Festy offers festivarians a nexus of killer music, outdoor sport and lifestyle, hetty organic eats, and great beer.Joining the ‘Dusters this year for the festivities will be:Leftover SalmonTrampled By TurtlesKeller & The KeelsRubblebucketNicki Bluhm & The GramblersElephant RevivalWhitehorseSarah SiskindTony Trischka’s TerritoryThe Steel WheelsJosh Panda & The Hot DamnedDella MaeMargaret GlaspyCarl AndersonMore bands will be announced in the near future, so stay tuned.  From this initial offering, though, it is readily apparent that The Festy is not a musical experience to be missed.  Tickets for the festival, which takes place between October 5th and 7th this year, go on sale Wednesday, May 16th.  Surf over to www.thefesty.com for ticket buying information!Click here for the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine Festival Guide!last_img read more

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Sizzling time at Palm Beach Jerk Fest

first_imgA section of the audience at the Palm Beach Jerk Fest By Celina DeCastroViviene Francis was having the time of her life.As she gouged on a piece of jerked chicken, the pleasure on her face was all too evident. Francis was among the hundreds of patrons who descended on the South Florida Fairgrounds on Memorial Day to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the fourteenth annual Palm Beach Jerk and Caribbean Culture Festival.“This is a must attend event for me every year. I drove all way from Pompano (Beach). The music, the food and fun is something I always look forward to,” Francis told Caribbean National Weekly.Even though the sun was blazing down on the venue, it did not deter the patrons as they strolled by booths where vendors sold clothing, memorabilia and, of course, much-needed food and drink.The strains of Reggae and Calypso, flags of various Caribbean countries, the kiddies zone and other attractions, were a perfect blend for good vibes and ‘one love’ that spread throughout the venue.Women and men of all ages gyrated to dancehall and reggae music. Every corner had a smiling attendant drinking beverages and laughing among friends and family.The smell of grill-fired jerk chicken and exotic spices hit your nose with a powerful Caribbean punch as swarms of hungry patrons bombarded the food stalls.That early vibe set the tone for live performances from Tarrus Riley, Half Pint, Wayne Wonder and Agent Sasco, which brought the Palm Beach Jerk and Caribbean Culture Festival to a fitting end.last_img read more

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