Inaugural lecture presented by the University of Maryland Council on the Environment
Dr. Lester R. Brown
Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity
With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil. What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity and food nationalism? Brown outlines the political implications of land acquisitions by grain-importing countries in Africa and elsewhere as well as the world's shrinking buffers against poor harvests, and exposes the increasingly volatile food situation the world is facing.
Described as "one of the world's most influential thinkers" by the Washington Post, Lester Brown is Founder and President of Earth Policy Institute, a non-profit environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. During a career that started with tomato farming, Brown has been awarded 25 honorary degrees and has authored or coauthored over 50 books. One of the world's most widely published authors, his books have appeared in some 40 languages. One of his recent books, World on the Edge, was called by the Financial Times "a provocative primer on some of the key global issues that businesses will face in the coming decades." He is a MacArthur Fellow and the recipient of many prizes and awards including United Nations' Environment Prize, the World Wide Fund for Nature Gold Medal, and the Blue Planet Prize for his "exceptional contributions to solving global environmental problems." In 1985 the Library of Congress requested his personal papers noting that his writings and work had "already strongly affected thinking about problems of world population and resources." Brown earned master degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Maryland and in public administration from Harvard University. He was inducted into the University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame in 2010.
4:00 pm - Reception in Atrium
5:00 pm - Lecture in Room 1115
Welcome: Antonio Busalacchi, Chair of the Council on Environment
Introductory Remarks: Senator Joseph D. Tydings; Herman E. Daly, UMD School of Public Policy
This lecture is open to the public.