Monday, June 27, 2011
This is part two of our series on our past 10 years. EPI’s mission is to raise awareness of global environmental issues and to offer a vision of an eco-economy, which we call Plan B.
In 2003, we started receiving anecdotal evidence that our information was having an effect. For instance, a professor at Ahfed University in the Sudan requested permission to use our publications as course material. He noted how invaluable it was to have free access to environmental research, especially when he had no access to environmental textbooks.
A peace corps volunteer in Mongolia asked permission to excerpt and translate The Earth Policy Reader not only for her environmental education work with students and teachers, but also for a series of 15-30 minute programs she was planning to do for radio, beginning with the stations in the provincial center where she lived and then branching out to all of the country’s radio stations using tapes and transcripts. She found the material in The Reader perfect for these planned radio programs.
Warren Snow, an environmentalist based in New Zealand promoting sustainability strategies for communities and Zero Waste, received a copy of Plan B and immediately ordered 100 copies so that he could distribute them through his organization Envision New Zealand.
Inspired by Eco-Economy, NHK, Japan’s national television network had Lester Brown host a two-hour, two-part program with students, entitled “Voyage to the Future.” Taped in December 2002, the show began airing in March 2003 in Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Korea. The conclusion of this project was a keynote lecture in Yokohama by Lester that was aired live on NHK television in August 2003.
The government of China began using the Chinese edition of Eco-Economy to train mayors and provincial officials on environmental issues. At the same time, the provincial head of Anhui Province began using the ideas in Eco-Economy in developing projects to protect the environment and economy.
Inspired by these examples, we began an Action Center on our website to showcase supporters of Plan B. For more on who has gotten involved in the classroom, the political arena, the lecture circuit, on the Internet, and more, see People in Action.
Cheers to you all,
Reah Janise Kauffman
Monday, June 13, 2011
Over the past few months, we’ve hosted or met with a number of interesting people.
For instance, Lester Brown had dinner with Carl Safina, prominent ecologist and marine conservationist and president of Blue Ocean Institute. Safina’s most recent book is A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout about the Gulf oil catastrophe. And he now has a television series on PBS, Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina.
Alexey Yablokov, a prominent Russian environmentalist, former member of USSR parliament and environmental advisor to the Russian President Yeltsin and to the Gorbachev administration met with our researchers. Yablokov brought a copy of his newest book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment (Kindle edition).
Meanwhile, a few weeks back, Lester attended the 50th anniversary of the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS). A surprise discovery at the meeting was that his first book, Man, Land and Food (see earlier blog post), was prominently placed on a timeline of achievements. It was the only book on the timeline and John Schnittker, one of the lead organizers of the anniversary and formerly Undersecretary of Agriculture at ERS, noted how much that kind of integrated research was needed today.
Wes Jackson, founder and president of The Land Institute met with our staff and talked about Natural Systems Agriculture, which his institute has developed. The Land Institute has worked for over 30 years on the problem of agriculture. Its purpose is to develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops.
Paul Ritter and his son JP had lunch with Les. Ritter is the great grandson of the man who established the PJ Ritter cannery in Bridgeton, New Jersey. The company routinely purchased the tomatoes Les grew.
Lester and Janet Larsen had lunch with Professor Wang Tao, head of CAREERI, the Cold and Arid Regions Environment and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and one of the world’s leading desert scholars.
The Population Institute set up a breakfast briefing for Lester and several members of Congress to talk about population and environmental issues.
Lester was also invited to a dinner discussion sponsored by Madeleine Albright of the Albright Stonebridge Group on the topic of food security as a national security issue.
On a personal note, one of the more important close encounters for Lester, happened earlier this year. While he was en route from London to give a presentation at Oxford, Lester was driven past the home of Sir Roger Bannister. Bannister was a bit of a hero to Lester, as he was the first person to run a sub four-minute mile (3:59.2). Lester’s faculty host had him inscribe his book World on the Edge for Sir Roger. Recently Les received an autographed photograph of Roger Bannister crossing the finish line at the end of that historic mile in 1952. The inscription said simply, “Thank you for your kind comment. Roger Bannister.”
Cheers to you all,
Reah Janise Kauffman
Monday, June 06, 2011
While we recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Institute, we like to celebrate more personal victories as well.
Today we welcome the most recent addition to the Earth Policy Institute team: Mandolyn Rose, born May 30 to Janet Larsen and Bill Brown.
Our congratulations to the happy family!
Reah Janise Kauffman
P.S. And, remember, you can view snipets from our last ten years in a PowerPoint presentation or as PDF: PPT or PDF.
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