LESTER BROWN has been described by the Washington Post as "one of the world's most influential thinkers." After working with the Department of Agriculture in international agricultural development, Brown helped establish the Overseas Development Council, then founded the Worldwatch Institute, which plays an important role in the public's understanding of trends in our global environment with its annual State of the World report and Vital Signs. In 2001, he left Worldwatch, founded Earth Policy Institute, and continues his vital work. During a career that began with tomato farming, Brown has been honored with numerous prizes, including the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, the United Nations Environment Prize, and Japan's Blue Planet Prize, along with some 20 honorary degrees.
In his new book, WORLD ON THE EDGE: HOW TO PREVENT ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, BROWN lays out the symptoms, the diagnosis, and the cure, what he calls "Plan B". He estimates that we could solve all the world's greatest problems for $200B a year - less than a third the US defense budget - but it will take an all-out response at wartime speed proportionate to the magnitude of the threats facing civilization.
ZACHARY KARABELL argues that the economies of China and the US have melded over the past 20 years, as billions of dollars flow east from the US for Chinese-made goods and return to this country from China in exchange for IOUs.
"This mega-economy is hiding in plain sight, unrecognized, unacknowledged, and unwanted by many millions whose lives are being reshaped by it." Karabell's not suggesting this is an unalloyed good thing, "but it's a fact. And it's better to deal with reality than live in a fantasy land."
ZACHARY KARABELL is President of River Twice Research, where he analyzes economic and political trends. He is also a senior advisor for Business for Social Responsibility, which develops sustainable business strategies. Previously, he was president of Fred Alger and Company; and portfolio manager of the award-winning China-U.S. Growth Fund, and launched the $30 million Spectra Green Fund, linking profit and sustainability.
Educated at Columbia, Oxford and Harvard, his previous books include A Visionary Nation: Four Centuries of American Dreams and What Lies Ahead, The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election, and Peace Be Upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian and Jewish Coexistence.