February 18, 2014


Our Hungarian translator, David Biro, called the other day to let us know that he was planning on translating some of our Updates, Indicators, and Data Highlights. He had just completed Breaking New Ground.

David has already translated five of our books, beginning with Plan B 3.0. He’d come across Plan B and thought it warranted publication in Hungarian. Unfortunately we couldn’t pin down a publisher. David was undaunted and simply began translating when he came home from teaching school.

Without any promotional fanfare, we posted his translation of Plan B 3.0 as a PDF. Somehow, news spread. This book and the others he subsequently translated are now regularly downloaded from our website.

In December, for instance, the Hungarian translation of Plan B 3.0 was downloaded 1,102 times, World on the Edge 1,058 times, and Plan B 4.0 1,049 times. David said the books were on reading lists for colleges and universities in his country. By the way, this compares with 3,117 and 1,744 PDF downloads of the English editions of Plan B 4.0 and World on the Edge, respectively, which are also used in U.S. colleges and universities.

This dissemination of our research is one of the things we’d hoped for when we started Earth Policy Institute in 2001. Our mission is to shift the world onto an environmentally sustainable path by cutting carbon emissions, curbing population growth, restoring our natural systems, and shifting to renewable energy. We do this through providing information. Since so many other organizations are well equipped to organize protests, lobby, and defend through the law, we focus on what we believe we can do best: provide integrated analyses of and solutions to the global issues civilization faces.

As a small organization of eight people, disseminating our findings is a huge task. But the Internet makes it infinitely easier for people the world over with access to a computer.

So not only will you find our books available for free downloading on our website, you will find Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish, and Vietnamese translations.

Books are not the only publication that generous volunteers translate. Our slide presentations are translated, often by professors who use them in their classes, along with many of our Updates and assorted other research. Just go to a home page for one of our recent books and you'll see!

We are indebted to the volunteer network of people like David, whose expertise provides these translations and allows us to make them available to you.


Reah Janise

P.S. Stay tuned for a future blog on some of our other volunteer translators.