Segments in this Video

Introduction—Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (03:15)


This film follows Lester Brown as he travels throughout Europe and Asia, delivering talks on environmental science. See a list of program sponsors.

Sea Ice and Glacial Melt (04:45)

Stresses to people and the planet are quickly building. Brown recalls flying over the Arctic Sea and seeing ice fractures; the rate of ice disappearance astonishes scientists. Glaciers in the mountains of Asia feed several major rivers; glacial reduction impacts food production.

Climate Change and Food Security (06:51)

Brown recalls the impact of his book "Who Will Feed China." In Beijing, he talks with government officials about glacial melt in the Tibetan Plateau, the need to quickly reduce carbon emissions, and responsibility.

Economy and Food Security (02:16)

Climate is a shared system. Glacial melt in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau will likely be an immediate cause of suffering and national security conflicts. Climate change introduces vulnerability to the global economic system.

Environmental Awareness (04:19)

Brown delivers a series of lectures and press conferences about climate change in several countries. He learns the position of government leaders on environmental issues. Thousands demonstrate against environmental policies in Seoul.

Food Supply and Civilizations (04:54)

Brown reflects on the consequences of climate change, global food shortages, and the collapse of ancient civilizations; he incorporates the concepts into his lectures. Great Zimbabwe flourishes in the 12th century but disappears in the early 15th century.

Food Availability and Rising Affluence (07:16)

Today, food is widely available to many people, but the increasing demand for poultry and livestock products stresses the land; the current Western lifestyle is unsustainable. Experts discuss the conversion of grain to fuel, resulting in a food/energy competition.

Failing State Phenomenon (08:27)

Brown tries to impart the need to make changes by describing early warning signals. Haiti exemplifies a collapsing state; environmental challenges plague the country. Experts discuss the impact of climate change on countries close to failure.

Economic Truth (06:33)

In 2001, auditors find that Enron, once ranked seventh in total value, is worthless. Brown compares it to global environmental activities. Global warming will likely reduce rain in the Amazon, resulting in die back and 20% species loss. The atmosphere is not a "free good."

"The 29th Day" (04:15)

Brown uses a children's riddle to explain exponential growth. Experts discuss the planet reaching the tipping point. The current economic model based on fossil fuels and throwaway items is no longer viable. Brown cites the four components of "Plan B."

Population, Poverty, and Diversity (09:06)

Experts discuss the link between population stabilization, the eradication of poverty, and climate stabilization. Bangladesh and Istanbul demonstrate positive impacts of quality family planning and female education. In Africa, villagers learn modern farming techniques and receive incentives to stop poaching.

Reducing Carbon Emissions (05:51)

Opposition to coal-fired power plants is on the rise. Representatives from 192 nations meet to discuss climate change at COP15. Experts discuss restructuring the tax system, true costs, nuclear power plants, and clean coal power plants.

New Energy Economy (05:01)

Texas is the leading generator of wind energy in the United States. Countries around the world are utilizing wind power, geothermal energy, and solar energy. Countries in Africa and the Middle East are developing solar power plants designed to export electricity. Brown reflects on the future.

Implementing Change (05:37)

Brown discusses the economic history of WWII; the U.S. restructures its industrial economy within a few months. The American public can affect change quickly.

Saving Civilization (02:59)

Experts consider various ways people can help combat climate change; everyone must get involved. Global political action is vital. Climate change has become a topic of debate in local governments.

Natural and Political Tipping Points (03:12)

Brown questions if we can cut CO2 emissions, phase out coal-fired power plants, and arrest deforestation in enough time to save civilization. Brown continues to travel around the world, discussing the environment.

Credits: Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (00:0-186)

Credits: Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization

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Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization

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Narrated by Matt Damon and produced by Emmy-Award winning filmmakers, this documentary is based on the book by Lester Brown, environmental visionary and founder of the Earth Policy Institute. In a very real sense, the program is an environmental road show shot on location around the globe and featuring some of the world’s most original and influential thinkers. Lester Brown’s message is clear and unflinching – either confront the realities of climate change or suffer the consequences of lost civilizations and failed states. Ultimately, the program provides audiences with a glimpse into a new and emerging economy based upon renewable sources plus realistic strategies to avoid the growing threat of global warming. Appearing with Lester Brown are Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Friedman, former Governor and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, along with other scholars and scientists. Locations include: China, Japan, Korea, India, Italy, Turkey, Bangladesh, Zambia, Haiti, and the United States.

Length: 87 minutes

Item#: BVL210593

Copyright date: ©2010

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