Like a tsunami, consumerism has engulfed human cultures and Earth’s ecosystems. Left unaddressed, we risk global disaster. But if we channel this wave, intentionally transforming our cultures to center on sustainability, we will not only prevent catastrophe, but may usher in an era of sustainability—one that allows all people to thrive while protecting, even restoring, Earth.In State of the World 2010, sixty renowned res
Vital Signs 2009 includes 25 trends in one convenient reference guide. Covers pressing trends in energy, agriculture, transportation, climate, health, the economy, population, and other areas to inform and inspire the changes needed to build a sustainable world.
In 2008, half of the Earth’s population will live in urban areas, marking the first time in history that humans are an urban species. State of the World 2007: Our Urban Future examines changes in the ways cities are managed, built, and lived in that could tip the balance towards a healthier and more peaceful urban future.The PDF version(s) of State of the World 2007 include 'Geotag' links to satellite photos wi
At a time when international treaties, restrictive quotas, and global regulation of fleets have proven ineffective in protecting beleaguered fish populations, a surprising ally is emerging to tackle the growing fisheries crisis. Buyers of seafood—including individual consumers, school cafeterias, supermarket chains, and large food processors—are choosing to avoid threatened or problematic species in favor of fish that are caught or
The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the world's biological 'hotspots,' a region of extraordinary, and threatened, biodiversity. Saving the Atlantic Forest will require a variety of strategies. An approach described in this paper hinges on one of the world's favorite foods: cocoa. Cocoa is a major crop in Brazil, especially in the northeastern state of Bahia, where most cocoa is grown in a longstanding agroforestry system called cabruca. Be
Everyone, everywhere depends increasingly on long-distance food. Encouraged by food processing innovations, cheap oil, and subsidies, since 1961 the value of global trade in food has tripled and the tonnage of food shipped between nations has grown fourfold, while population has only doubled. In the United States, food typically travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles from farm to plate, as much as 25 percent farther than in 1980.For so
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
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
SummaryFrom Asia to North America, people are eating more seafood, either because it’s the most affordable form of protein (as in many poorer nations) or because it’s the latest health food trend (as in many wealthy nations). But as the demand for fish rises, populations of both marine and freshwater species are being overexploited, resulting in stagnant or declining catches from many wild fisheries.
Citizens expect their governments to lead on sustainability. But from largely disappointing international conferences like Rio II to the U.S.’s failure to pass meaningful climate legislation, governments’ progress has been lackluster. That’s not to say leadership is absent; it just often comes from the bottom up rather than the top down. Action—on climate, species loss, inequity, and other sustainability crises—is