Tuesday, October 22, 2013
|Lester signing books at the party.|
Lester Brown’s memoir Breaking New Ground: A Personal History (W.W. Norton & Company) hit the bookshelves yesterday. Last Friday we held a book release party with family, friends, colleagues, and other environmental leaders. While we munched great food and drinks, Lester regaled us with stories about growing up on a farm in southern New Jersey and starting a tomato business with his brother Carl. He also answered questions about his time in India and what the future might hold.
It was a great night to celebrate and reflect on Lester’s remarkable life and career as an environmental leader.
In Breaking New Ground Lester recounts his life story as a founder of the global environmental movement. He recognized the process of globalization well before the term existed and helped define sustainable development. In his book, he reveals what inspired him—and the millions who have read his books—to become environmentally active.
|Lester with copies of State of the World.|
While on a brief assignment for the USDA in India in 1965, he pieced together the early clues of an impending famine. His urgent warning to the U.S. and Indian governments set in motion the largest food rescue effort in history, saving millions of lives. This near miss by India led it to adopt new agricultural policies that he helped to shape.
Lester went on to advise governments internationally and to found the Worldwatch and Earth Policy institutes, two major non-profit environmental research organizations. Through these organizations and his writings, including 51 books published in 42 languages, Lester has helped us understand the interconnections among such issues as overpopulation, water shortages, and climate change, and their effect on food security. His 1995 book Who Will Feed China? led to a broad restructuring of China’s agricultural policy.
Never one to focus only on the problem, he always proposes pragmatic solutions to stave off the unfolding ecological crises that endanger our future. At the Earth Policy Institute, Lester has been offering responses to the major environmental challenges facing us today.
|Lester on the family farm at age 5.|
From a poor, but ambitious young man to a scholar and leader, Lester Brown inspires people to get to know the world around them. Breaking New Ground is all the more engaging because of his drive to make the world a better place.
"This is the life story of a true American hero . . . as a scientist and public intellectual dedicated to the cause of sustainability Lester Brown is in a class by himself." —David W. Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor, Oberlin College.
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