Climate change – all too real and a serious threat to our whole planet

By Edd Doerr | 6 April 2015
Americans for Religious Liberty journal, Voice of Reason

The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy, by Lester R. Brown, with Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney and Emily. E. Adams. (W. W. Norton, 2015, 178 pp, $16.95. A review by Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty.

Climate change, all too real and a serious threat to our whole planet, is largely fueled by our overuse of and dependence on fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas, plus wood) for energy generation. In this important new “five star” book, long time environmental expert Lester Brown and his associates at the Earth Policy Institute spell out the damage caused by fossil fuels and then detail what can, should be, and is being done about it. They show why nuclear power is not the answer and why hydro power is both somewhat helpful but also often damaging to the environment. Then they convincingly demonstrate how wind, solar and geothermal energy, already making great strides, are the solution, with large power grids to even out the variations in solar and wind, though not geothermal energy. They also show how retail solar power production on individual homes and other buildings spreads out ownership and production. (Note: this reviewer recently had 27 solar panels installed on his roof to produce electricity.)

The authors provide an abundance of examples of how solar, wind and geothermal power generation is working and growing in countries throughout the world – in the US, China, Europe and elsewhere.

Of course, solving the energy generation problem, together with the great strides being made to increase the efficiency of cars and appliances (use of LED lighting and electric cars, for example) will not alone solve the problems of environmental degradation, resource depletion, waste accumulation, emptying aquifers (viz. California), deforestation (viz. Brazil), desertification, soil erosion, rising sea levels, soil erosion and nutrient loss, biodiversity shrinkage, and increasing sociopolitical instability and violence. These are all worsened by human overpopulation, tripled since World War II to well over 7 billion. And that problem is due largely to the opposition of overly conservative religious leaders across the spectrum to contraception, abortion rights, equal rights for women, and adequate sexuality education.

There you have it. Solving all these problems requires without delay the cooperation of people across the world of every religious and political persuasion. The clock is ticking and we have work to do. We are all in this together.

The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy

By Lester R. Brown
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (April 20, 2015)
ISBN-10: 039335055X
ISBN-13: 978-0393350555
www.Amazon.com

Edd Doerr was president of the American Humanist Association from 1995 to 2003, serving previously as vice-president and board chair under Isaac Asimov from 1985 to 1991. He has been executive director and then president of Americans for Religious Liberty since 1982. A former teacher of history and Spanish, he is the author, co-author, editor, or translator of twenty books, mostly on religious liberty and reproductive rights. He served on the governing body of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice from 1973 until 2004 and on the boards of NARAL, the ACLU of Maryland, and the National Committee for Public Education and Religious Liberty. More than 3,000 of his articles, columns, reviews, and letters have been published in The Humanist and many other publications. For over ten years he has been writing a column in the journal Free Inquiry from the Council for Secular Humanism.

Professor Milton Siegel, who for 24 years was the Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization, speaks to Dr. Stephen Mumford in 1992 to reveal that although there was a consensus that overpopulation was a grave public health threat and would be a major cause of preventable death not too far in the future, the Vatican successfully fought off the incorporation of family planning and birth control into official WHO policy. This video is available for public viewing for the first time. Read the full transcript of the interview here.

Lester R. Brown interview with Rob Stewart

Professor Paul Ehrlich: Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?

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