Frosty Wooldridge

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Part 4: Our civilization in the cross hairs of endless growth—Lester Brown’s Plan B 4.0

In a brilliant work,  Kurt Dahl in “False Hope”, at www.populationelephant.com , illustrates humanity’s overpopulation plight. Published with permission from the author.

“In his book "Plan B 4.0 - Mobilizing To Save Civilization" Mr. Brown devotes a grand total of 4 pages to overpopulation and population growth - the biggest cause of our problems and the biggest obstacle to achieving the goals he espouses, that of saving civilization,” said Dahl. “He does, however, get very specific (unlike Mr. Gore) about how we can solve our problems without having to deal with an ever increasing demand due to population growth. Simply summarized, his plan goes like this: first, through extensive efforts at conservation and better energy management, we can possibly keep energy demand flat over the next ten years (I'll give him that - it is possible) and then, in the same 10 years (2010 - 2020), we must deploy alternative energy sources with a "wartime" fury to the extent that it supplies more than half of our energy needs.

“Let's do the math on his alternative energy claim and see if that is even remotely possible. As he states in his latest book: "At the heart of Plan B is a crash program to develop 3,000 gigawatts of wind generating capacity by 2020". He goes on to say that it would require the installation of 1.5 million wind turbines of 2 megawatts each (at 3 million dollars per turbine) during the next 10 years. To do this he proposes doubling the production and installation of wind turbines (from current levels) every 2 years until 2020.

“So…yet another supposedly learned person falls under the umbrella of Albert Bartlett's famous claim that "the greatest failing of the human race is its inability to understand the exponential function". Understand the function please - the biggest problem with Mr. Brown's plan is that in the last two year period, an amount equal to all of the world's previously installed wind turbines combined must be built and deployed. In this case an astonishing 750,000 turbines at a cost of 2.25 trillion dollars! In 2 years! There is no conceivable way to produce that many turbines or that kind of money in a 2 year period.

“And if you could - what would happen next? After building up an industry as big as any other industry in the world, what would happen to it? Would everybody be fired? But if it went on at just the same level for another two years, it would cost another 2.25 trillion dollars. Talk about an economic disaster.

“And because the wind turbine deployment is, as Mr. Brown explicitly indicates, the "heart" of his overall plan, without its success the whole thing falls apart. Simply put, the plan is completely impossible. So once again, one of the leaders that we listen to and trust the most fosters false hope in the extreme.”

Assistant Grand High Priest Fred Pearce

“What to say about Mr. Pearce…well, at least he doesn't ignore the topic of overpopulation and population growth (as the other two High Priests have done),” said Dahl. “Instead, Mr. Pearce has decided to take it on directly by claiming that it's not really happening!

“He has recently published a book titled "The Coming Population Crash and Our Planet's Surprising Future", where he claims that population will soon be decreasing and therefore our problems will go away. Normally this brand of nonsense journalism doesn't deserve any serious attention, except that somehow Mr. Pearce's publisher and agent were able to get massive publicity for this unfortunate effort. I personally watched Mr. Pearce's appearances on CNN and the Jon Stewart Show.

“It was interesting (and revealing) to note that neither Jon Stewart nor Christiane Amanpour (host of the CNN show) were armed with even the most basic facts of world population growth, and so they never questioned his preposterous assumptions. So once again, a TV audience of tens of millions was dramatically misinformed about the facts.”
 
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