Trace key moments in the modern environmental movement from the 1960s until today. Explore pivotal events, scientific breakthroughs, and obstacles through an illustrated full-color, 39' x 27' poster, printed with soy inks on recycled, uncoated paper—ready to hang as-is, or cut along dotted line and place end-to-end to create a six-and-a-half-foot long timeline.Makes a great tool for teaching, presentations, and
SummaryOver the past two-to-three hundred years, humanity’s ecological footprint has ballooned to such an extent that we are now fundamentally altering the planet. We have transformed the Earth’s land surface and altered the function of its ecosystems, and we are triggering the rapid loss of both terrestrial and marine life. We are also profoundly changing our planet’s climate. It is increasingly app
SummaryLand makes up a quarter of Earth’s surface, and its soil and plants hold three times as much carbon as the atmosphere. More than 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions arise from the land use sector. Thus, no strategy for mitigating global climate change can be complete or successful without reducing emissions from agriculture, forestry, and other land uses. Moreover, only land-based or “terrest
What must we do in the 21st century—especially in 2009 and the years just following—to head off the kind of climate catastrophe that many scientists now see as likely?State of the World 2009 is intended to inject new inspiration and energy into national and international climate negotiations by conveying the profound, long-term consequences of the experiment we are now conducting on the Earth's atmosphere, with an
Environmental issues were once regarded as irrelevant to economic activity, but today they are dramatically rewriting the rules for business, investors, and consumers. Around the world, innovative responses to climate change and other environmental problems are affecting more than $100 billion in annual capital flows as pioneering entrepreneurs, organizations, and governments take steps to create the Earth’s first “sustainable&rdqu
SummaryUniquely among the universe’s known planets, the Earth is a sphere dominated by watery oceans. They cover 70 percent of its surface and are home to a myriad of amazing and beautiful creatures. Life almost certainly originated in the oceans, yet the biological diversity of marine habitats is threatened by the activities of one largely land-based species: us. The activities through which humans threaten mar
Two recent tragedies, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, gave rise to hopes that three longstanding Asian conflicts could finally be brought to an end: the separatist uprising in Indonesia’s Aceh Province, the civil war in Sri Lanka, and the territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Amid terrible loss of life, these disasters presented residents and policymakers alike with a host of new c
This year, Worldwatch Institute's annual State of the World report provides a special focus on China and India and their impact on the world as major consumers of resources and polluters of local and global ecosystems. The report explains the critical need for both countries to 'leapfrog' the technologies, policies, and even the cultures that now prevail in many western countries for the sake of global sustainability—and reports on some
By taking advantage of the work that healthy watersheds and freshwater ecosystems perform naturally, cities and rural areas can purify drinking water, alleviate hunger, mitigate flood damages, and meet other societal goals at a fraction of the cost of conventional technological alternatives.But because commercial markets rarely put a price on these 'ecosystem services,' and because governments around the world are failing to protect t
Security concerns remain high on the world's agenda. In this year’s annual report, Worldwatch researchers explore underlying sources of global insecurity including poverty, infectious disease, environmental degradation, and rising competition over oil and other resources.
The 27 nations of the Second World—the former Soviet Union and its Central and Eastern European satellites—are undergoing a wrenching transition following the collapse of communism. The process is complicated by the history and legacy of communist rule, including severe economic, governance, and environmental problems. In some of these countries, such as Ukraine, the upheaval has led to a period of predatory capitalism and declinin
Birds inspire people with their beauty, song, and powers of flight. But birds cannot fly far enough to escape the dangers posed by our modern, ever-more-crowded world. Birds are under threat as never before; at least 103 species have vanished since 1800, and as many as 1,200 of the world's 9,800 bird species face extinction within the century. Birds require many of the same things we need for a sustainable future, and their alarming decline is
A powerful pro-environmental coalition may be emerging worldwide as religious people and institutions begin to partner with advocates of sustainable development. The past decade saw a small but growing number of meetings, advocacy initiatives, educational programs, and lobbying efforts by the two communities, who long had kept each other at arm's length.In Worldwatch Paper 164: Invoking the Spirit, Gary Gardner, Worldwatch Reseach Dir
In several countries around the developing world, abundant natural resources help fuel conflict, either by attracting predatory groups seeking to control them or by financing wars that were initially caused by other factors. Prominent examples include Sierra Leone, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Afghanistan. Conflict has also erupted in several countries where the benefits of mining and logging projects—oil in Colum
At international conferences throughout the 1990"s--in Rio de Janeiro, Vienna, Cairo, and Beijing--a new vision of women"s health, welfare, and rights was created. This vision acknowledged the deep connections between support for educational, economic, social, and political opportunity for women on the one hand, and progress in stabilizing population growth, protecting the environment, and improving human health on the other.Despite i
The world is on the brink of bringing into force one of the most far-reaching environmental treaties of all time, the Kyoto Protocol. And even without the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, the United States, on board, signatories of the Protocol are setting the stage for a new generation of policymaking worldwide, reports a new study-the first ten-year review of global climate policy since the Rio Earth Summit.
In today's rapidly shrinking world, travelers are trading in over-commercialized mass tourism for more exotic destinations-most of which are in the developing world. From South America to Asia, countries are rushing to capitalize on a wealth of cultural and biological attractions in order to meet this demand.
In the 1990s, natural catastrophes like hurricanes, floods, and fires caused over $608 billion in economic losses worldwide, an amount greater than during the previous four decades combined. But a growing share of this devastation is not 'natural' at all: the effects of a disaster are magnified by ecologically destructive practices, like degrading forests, engineering rivers, filling in wetlands, and destabilizing the climate. And at the same
Today, every world region suffers from sprawling, car-choked urban areas. Accidents and pollution-related illness take lives, while traffic delays sap human productivity and waste fuel. Part of the reason that Americans now guzzle 43 percent of the world’s gasoline is to wheel around expansive metropolises. Transportation, spurred by road traffic, is now the fastest-growing contributor to climate change.Decades ago, Copenhagen,
Since the end of World War II, the richest countries have lent the poorest ones hundreds of billions of dollars, much of it in the name of democracy, freedom, and development. Yet scores of the borrowing countries are now mired in debt and poverty—some 47, according to World Bank benchmarks, all but 10 of them African. Together, they owe $422 billion, or $380 per person—a substantial sum for them, but just 11 months of military spe