PLAN B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization — The Film

April 27, 2012 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Daily Email Recap

Two items below from the Earth Policy Institute. First, an announcement about airings on PBS stations of the 90-minute film based on Lester Brown’s Plan B book series. Second, a report on China’s meat consumption, which is now more than double that of the United States.

And here for local listings:


PBS stations across the United States are airing the program between now and May 16. Check your local listings to see where and when it is airing in your area.

Based on Lester Brown’s Plan B book series, this 90-minute film-Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization-(see listings for time and additional dates in your area), follows Lester as he speaks in Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, New Delhi, Rome, Istanbul, Ankara, and Washington, DC, and visits with world leaders to discuss ways to respond to the challenges of climate change.

The film begins with a dramatic portrayal of a world where there is a mounting tide of public concern about melting glaciers and sea level rise and a growing sense that we need to change course in how we react to emerging economic and social pressures. It also spotlights a world where ocean resources are becoming scarce, croplands are eroding, and harvests are shrinking.

But what makes Plan B significant and timely is that it provides hopeful solutions-a roadmap to eradicate poverty, stabilize populations and protect and restore our planet’s fisheries, forests, aquifers, soils, grasslands, and biological diversity.

Along with Lester Brown, you will hear from notable scholars and scientists including Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, and former Governor and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.

Narrated by Matt Damon, well-known for his work raising environmental awareness, and produced by Emmy-Award winning filmmakers Marilyn and Hal Weiner, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the gravity of environmental decline and the solutions that can change the course for civilization.

You can also order performance copies of the film (for classroom and conference viewing), which also includes an Educator’s Guide.

Earth Policy Release — Meat Consumption in China Now Double That in the United States

Janet Larsen

More than a quarter of all the meat produced worldwide is now eaten in China, and the country’s 1.35 billion people are hungry for more. In 1978, China’s meat consumption of 8 million tons was one third the U.S. consumption of 24 million tons. But by 1992, China had overtaken the United States as the world’s leading meat consumer-and it has not looked back since. Now China’s annual meat consumption of 71 million tons is more than double that in the United States. With U.S. meat consumption falling and China’s consumption still rising, the trajectories of these two countries are determining the shape of agriculture around the planet.

Pork is China’s meat of choice, accounting for nearly three fourths of its meat consumption. Half the world’s pigs-some 476 million of them-live in China. This meat is so central to the Chinese diet that in 2007 the government, hoping to cushion against price spikes, created a strategic pork reserve (albeit a relatively small one) to accompany its more typical stockpiles of grain and petroleum. Many a Chinese banquet table is graced with a portion of sticky sweet braised pork belly, touted to be the favorite dish of Chairman Mao. With its pork consumption projected to reach 52 million tons in 2012, China is far ahead of the 8 million tons eaten in the United States, where chicken and beef are more popular.

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