Book Review: World on the Edge – by Lester R. Brown

World on the EdgeRemember when you were in college and you read a text-book. You started  with a highlighter and marked the sections that were important, that you would need to or want to remember, either for the test, or better, for your life? If you did this with  World on the Edge, the whole book would be yellow. You’d realize that there isn’t a sentence that you didn’t want to highlight, and double highlight.

Every now and then a powerful non-fiction book comes along that slaps you in the face and completely wakes you up.

World on the Edge is such a book.

Lester Brown takes on all our global challenges at once in this succinct and easy to read book. He covers falling water tables and shrinking harvests, world desertification, climate change, hunger, disease, overpopulation, financial demise of nations, failing states and sustainable energy supply.

The first seven chapters state the problem, the last five chapters provide a workable solution, which he calls Plan B.

Not only is the book a wake-up call for the reader, but it represents a great reference work. Full of statistics, details, references to studies, other books and general information, World on the Edge is very useful as a study guide to the problems of the world. Pick any of the topics discussed, and be careful which you pick, because you can make a life-time career out of studying any one of those in-depth.

The challenges we face in our world on a global scale are staggering. Rather than doomsday trumpeting, the author presents workable solutions with funding requirements that could be put underway right now, to make a change within years, not generations.

The question is: Are we willing to listen?

Rating: ****

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