Earth Policy Institute: Podcast
Rising Meat Consumption Takes Big Bite out of Grain Harvest

World consumption of animal protein is everywhere on the rise. Meat consumption increased from 44 million tons in 1950 to 284 million tons in 2009, more than doubling annual consumption per person to over 90 pounds. The rise in consumption of milk and eggs is equally dramatic. Wherever incomes rise, so does meat consumption. As the oceanic fish catch and rangeland beef production have both leveled off, the world has shifted to grain-based production of animal protein to expand output. With some 35 percent of the world grain harvest (760 million tons) used to produce animal protein, meat consumption has a large impact on grain consumption, and therefore global food security. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: Rising_Meat_Consumption_Takes_Big_Bite_out_of_Grain_Harvest.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 9:29am EST

Troubling Health Trends Holding Back Progress on Life Expectancy

People born today will live for 68 years on average, 20 years longer than those born in 1950. By the mid-twentieth century, industrial countries had already made major strides in extending lifespans with improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and public health. After World War II, rapid gains in life expectancy in developing countries began to narrow the gap between these nations and industrial countries. Although average life expectancy worldwide continues to increase, gains have come more slowly in the last few decades. Worryingly, life expectancy has actually declined in some developing countries, while a few industrial countries have stalled or made slow progress on this important indicator of human health and well-being. For full report, visit the EPI website.


'Extreme Weather Intensifies International Food Crises,' Voice of America

Darren Taylor of Voice of America interviews Lester Brown for a five-part series on climate change. Mentioned in the articles 'Pessimism Rife Ahead of Global Climate Change,' 'Extreme Weather Intensifies International Food Crises,' and 'Financing Green Fund Expected to be a Hot Topic at Climate Change Talks.' Posted November 21, 2011.

Direct download: VOA_TAYLOR_CLIMATE_CHANGE_PT_2_Agriculture_Food_nov2011.mp3
Category:Lester Brown on Radio -- posted at: 9:55am EST

Demographics Loom Large in State Failure

After a half-century of forming new states from former colonies and from the breakup of the Soviet Union, the international community is today faced with the opposite situation: the disintegration of states. Failing states are now a prominent feature of the international political landscape. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: Demographics_Loom_Large_in_State_Failure.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 1:01pm EST

Lester Brown Radio Interview with Michio Kaku on Progressive Radio Network

Lester Brown sits down with Michio Kaku for Progressive Radio Network on a discussion about the state of the world. Posted November 15, 2011. 

Direct download: Exploration111511MichioKaku_RobertLanza_LesterBrown.mp3
Category:Lester Brown on Radio -- posted at: 11:13am EST

U.S. Carbon Emissions Down 7 Percent in Four Years: Even Bigger Drops Coming

Between 2007 and 2011, carbon emissions from coal use in the United States dropped 10 percent. During the same period, emissions from oil use dropped 11 percent. In contrast, carbon emissions from natural gas use increased by 6 percent. The net effect of these trends was that U.S. carbon emissions dropped 7 percent in four years. And this is only the beginning. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: US_Carbon_Emissions_Down_7_Percent_in_Four_Years.mp3
Category:Plan B Updates -- posted at: 4:10pm EST

Solar PV Breaks Records in 2010

Solar photovoltaic (PV) companies manufactured a record 24,000 megawatts of PV cells worldwide in 2010, more than doubling their 2009 output. Annual PV production has grown nearly 100-fold since 2000, when just 277 megawatts of cells were made. Newly installed PV also set a record in 2010, as 16,600 megawatts were installed in more than 100 countries. This brought the total worldwide capacity of solar PV to nearly 40,000 megawatts—enough to power 14 million European homes. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: Solar_PV_Breaks_Records_in_2010.mp3
Category:Eco-Economy Indicators -- posted at: 2:37pm EST

World Population Hitting 7 Billion

The number of people in the world is expected to reach 7 billion by the end of October 2011. Our rate of increase continues to slow from the high point of over 2 percent in 1968. Still, this year’s 1.1 percent increase means some 78 million people will be added to the global population in 2011. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: World_Population_Hitting_7_Billion.mp3
Category:Eco-Economy Indicators -- posted at: 3:15pm EST

As the debate unfolds about whether to build a 1,711-mile pipeline to carry crude oil from the tar sands in Canada to refineries in Texas, the focus is on the oil spills and carbon emissions that inevitably come with it. But we need to ask a more fundamental question. Do we really need that oil? For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: US_Gasoline_Use_Declining_Keystone_Pipeline_Not_Needed.mp3
Category:Plan B Updates -- posted at: 12:35pm EST

Press Teleconference with Lester Brown on Declining U.S. Carbon Emissions

Press Teleconference with Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute and author of World on the Edge, on U.S. carbon emissions down 7 percent in four years, with even bigger drops coming. Posted November 2, 2011.

Between 2007 and 2011, carbon emissions from coal use in the United States dropped 10 percent. During the same period, emissions from oil use dropped 11 percent. In contrast, carbon emissions from natural gas use increased by 6 percent. The net effect of these trends was that U.S. carbon emissions dropped 7 percent in four years. And this is only the beginning. For full report, visit the EPI website.