Earth Policy Institute

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During the 40 years since the publication of Silent Spring and the birth of the modern environmental movement, the environmental community has worked hard to arrest the deterioration of the Earth’s health. Many battles have been won, but we are losing the war. The Earth’s capacity to support the economy continues to deteriorate. The gap between what we need to do to arrest the deterioration of the Earth and what we are doing continues to widen.
Somehow we have to turn the tide. There is a need for a new initiative, a new organization, and a new organizational model, one engaged in a research program and research products that are designed for use by the media and that are directed at policymakers. The goal of the Earth Policy Institute is to raise public awareness to the point where it will support an effective public response to the threats posed by continuing population growth, rising CO2 emissions, the loss of plant and animal species, and the many other trends that are adversely affecting the Earth. The dissemination of information from the Institute is designed to help set the public agenda.
While the environmental community has gained a well-deserved reputation for successfully opposing certain policies or initiatives that it is against, it is less clear what the community is for. Without a vision, without a sense of where we want to go, it will be very difficult to get there. The purpose of the Earth Policy Institute is to provide a vision of what an environmentally sustainable economy will look like, a roadmap of how to get from here to there, and an ongoing assessment of this effort, of where progress is being made and where it is not.

Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth The purpose of Eco-Economy is to describe the new economy, to provide a vision of what it will look like, how it will work, and how we get from here to there (See Table of Contents). The eco-economy is designed to mesh with the Earth’s ecosystem instead of destroying it. The book contains detailed descriptions of the policy instruments, such as tax shifting and eco-labeling, which will be at the center of the restructuring process. Currently being published in 18 languages, Eco-Economy is the Institute’s flagship publication. Pulitzer Prize winner, E.O. Wilson, called it "an instant classic." named it one of the Top Ten Books (in the world) in 2001. The Japanese edition was rated the number one recommended translation by Asahi Shimbun.

The Earth Policy Reader In scores of countries, converging ecological deficits are undermining local economies on a scale that has no precedent. In The Reader, Brown and his colleagues examine the economic costs of these ecological deficits and assess progress in building an eco-economy. (See Table of Contents).

Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble. Our modern civilization is in trouble. We have created a bubble economy, one whose output is artificially inflated by overconsuming the earth's natural capital. Nowhere is the bubble economy more evident than in the food sector where the world grain harvest has been inflated by overpumping aquifers, a practice that virtually guarantees a future drop in production when aquifers are depleted. Plan B is a way of sustaining economic progress worldwide, an alternative to continuing environmental deterioration and eventual economic decline. (See Table of Contents.)

Eco-Economy Updates
The Eco-Economy Updates are short analyses assessing our progress toward building an eco-economy. EPI releases about two Updates a month. They are available via EPI's free electronic news service.

Eco-Economy Indicators
Eco-Economy Indicators highlight 12 of the most important trends that are affecting progress toward an eco-economy. The indicators are available in both graphical and time series tables. Accompanying each indicator is a description of the trend that relates its importance to the development of an eco-economy. The Indicators are updated when new data becomes available and released via EPI's electronic news service.

LESTER R. BROWN, founder and President of Earth Policy Institute, has been described by the Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers”and as “the guru of the global environmental movement” by The Telegraph of Calcutta. The author of numerous books, including Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth where he develops a vision for an environmentally sustainable economy, chapters, articles, etc., he helped pioneer the concept of environmentally sustainable development. His principal research areas include food, population, water, climate change, and renewable energy. The recipient of scores of awards and honorary degrees, he is widely sought as a speaker. In 1974, he founded Worldwatch Institute, of which he was President for its first 26 years. As President, he launched the World Watch Papers, the Worldwatch/Norton books, the annual State of the World report, the bimonthly magazine World Watch, the annual Vital Signs, and the Institute’s News Briefs. For relaxation, Lester runs. Read a complete biography.
View a selected list of recent publications by Mr. Brown.

REAH JANISE KAUFFMAN, co-founder and Vice President, has assisted Lester Brown in his work since 1986. As in any small organization, Reah Janise wears many hats. She oversees the administrative aspects of EPI, including managing its worldwide publishing network, outreach program, website, marketing, fundraising, and personnel. At Worldwatch Institute, she was Director of International Publications, managing the Institute’s publishing network of some 170 publishing contracts in over 30 languages, and assisted in the Institute’s fundraising and donor programs. Prior to joining Worldwatch, she was an editor and technical writer focusing on sustainable agriculture at Michigan State University, from which she graduated with a degree in English. Reah Janise squeezes exercise into her busy day by either running or biking to work.

MILLICENT JOHNSON, Manager of Publications Sales and Assistant Treasurer, brings with her more than 15 years of people-oriented sales/service experience. Warm and personable, Millicent manages easily the diverse and exacting area of customer service, publications fulfillment, database management, program coordination, accounting, and even ordering office supplies. Prior to Earth Policy, she was the Publications Sales Coordinator at Worldwatch Institute for 11 years. A graduate of Commonwealth College in Richmond, VA, Millicent enjoys classic movies and reading.

JANET LARSEN, Research Associate, holds a degree in Earth Systems from Stanford University. Janet manages the research program with Lester, planning new projects and coordinating the efforts of the research team. She uses her interdisciplinary background in researching the Eco-Economy Updates, and the Eco-Economy Indicators, similar to her work at the Worldwatch Institute on the Issue Alerts, State of the World, and Vital Signs. She is also a contributor to the The Earth Policy Reader. Janet has written on primate decline, illegal logging, land use, and population. Other interests include agriculture, biodiversity, global change, natural resource management, and urban planning. She has spent time studying the rainforest and the amphibians of the Peruvian Amazon and enjoys the great outdoors.

VIVIANA JIMENEZ, Research and Administrative Assistant, graduated with honors from the School of Finance and International Relations at Externado De Colombia University (Bogotá, Colombia) with a B.S. in Finance and International Relations. She continued her studies at American University in Washington, DC, completing courses in International Environment & Development and International Business & Trade. Viviana's interest in the environment grew out of her experience in Costa Rica researching environmental development projects. Viviana is responsible for an array of tasks from gathering research materials to preparing footnotes to managing EPI's library, listserv and clipping service, fact-checking and editing EPI research.
Judith Gradwohl, Chairman
William Mansfield
Scott McVay
Raisa Scriabine
Hamid Taravaty