EPIBuilding a Sustainable Future

Released 2011

World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse

Lester R. Brown

We are facing issues of near-overwhelming complexity and unprecedented urgency. Our challenge is to think globally and develop policies to counteract environmental decline and economic collapse. The question is: Can we change direction before we go over the edge?

Table of Contents
(Chapters available in PDF and html.)

Free Download of Book (PDF)

Complete Data Sets

World on the Edge Slideshow Presentation

Food Situation Highlights Presentation

World on the Edge Team
(People who have purchased five or more copies.)

Time for Plan B: Cutting Carbon Emissions 80 Percent by 2020

International Publishers

Unsolicited Comments from Readers

Fact Sheet (PDF)

Press Release

Available as an ebook through iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Sony.


"World on the Edge is brilliant. Author Lester Brown is one of humanity's greatest voices for the environment. In this volume, he presents the reader with a clear prescription for restoring sanity to our relationship with the biosphere. Highest recommendation."—Geoffrey Holland, Author, The Hydrogen Age

"This is the ultimate survival guide for our species. Lester Brown plots a path around and beyond the looming environmental abyss with courage, compassion and immense wisdom."
—Jonathan Watts, Asia Environment Correspondent for The Guardian and author of When A Billion Chinese Jump

"No one is better informed than Lester Brown of the multi-faceted crisis facing our planet. And no one has spelt out so clearly how our civilisation could be saved from falling 'over the edge' while there is
hopefullystill just time." —John Rowley, founder/editor www.peopleandplanet.net

"Lester Brown has produced another 'planetary survey' book that tells us how to get off the wrecking train we are on by courtesy of a dozen environmental assaults such as climate change. The better news (and there’s plenty) is that turning problems into opportunities generally puts money into our pockets." —Norman Myers, 21st Century School, University of Oxford

"World on Edge details the vice closing around us:  a quadruple squeeze of global warming and shortages in food, water and energy. Then it explains the path outand how little time we have left to take that path.  Got anything more important to read than that?" —Peter Goldmark, former head of the Port authority of New York and New Jersey, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and CEO of the International Herald Tribune

"The world is a much more hopeful place because of the work and life of Lester Brown. World on the Edge should be read by everyone who wants to see a better life for their children, which is just about everybody."
—Ted Glick, Policy Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network

"Brown understands well the precariousness of human civilization ...[and] expresses it in patient and telling detail that addresses the intelligence and humanity of the reader." —Bryan Walker on Celsias.com

"[World on the Edge] manages to cover both the grand sweep of global trends and the fine detail of some of the ideas being developed in response.” —Ed Crooks, Financial Times

“Reading World on the Edge brings topics ranging from crop failures to state failures together in a way that no series of blog posts could…Brown draws these connections with both scientific rigor and the patience of a committed teacher.” —Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, Sustainablog.org

"It is the most interesting book I have ever read and inspires me to do something immediate to save our civilization." —Hanh Lien, translator for the Vietnamese edition of World on the Edge