Summary and Info
Quite the volume to approach the essential and much misunderstood issue of food security. Critical reading to develop an argument for policy chance and avoid, or lessen, the crisis. The book is dated 2004 and like it suggests there is a strong feeling to expand and update figures and analysis in the face of recent developments. Much of that update points to the Earth Policy Institute where Lester Brown is President, but there is much from him, and plenty other authors to add to the debate.
While one is left with little doubt about the severity of the demands on the earth's capacity, something is lacking by way of helping to make a strong public argument, one that will raise actual social awareness. But that is not so much a flaw of the book as a challenge of a topic that for its importance seems to be placed on the periphery of public concern.
On a personal planning note, I am particularly intrigued by the validity of the argument offered by food security regarding urban density. Urban density has been typically misconstrued as an ideological necessity, either romanticizing the idea of the city to support it, or defending individual liberty against central planning to defend sprawl. Here not only the environmental argument is strengthen, but a solid line of thinking emerges since sprawl is an essential cause of the decrease of croplands in particular by the paving for roads, highways, parking lots and its related lifestyle. Density would be a remedy to that, although that would be far from solving on its own the huge sustainability challenges that urbanization faces.
More About the Author
Lester Russel Brown (born March 28, 1934) is a United States environmental analyst, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and former president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C.
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