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
SummaryOver the last decade, biofuels have been championed in the United States as a new source of income for rural communities, as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and most recently as a solution to the country's energy and climate change problems. These latter concerns are now the main driver behind the promise of biofuels, leading the United States and other governments across the world to encourage great
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
This report tracks and analyzes 44 trends that are shaping our future, and includes graphs and charts to provide a visual comparison over time. Categories of trends include: Food, Agricultural Resources, Energy and Climate, Global Economy, Resource Economics, Environment, Conflict and Peace, Communications and Transportation, Population and Society, and Health and Disease.
A Bangladeshi child eats a bowl of rice. An American child plays with a plastic doll. A woman in Finland talks on a cell phone. A man in Zimbabwe fills his car with gasoline. A Japanese woman reads a newspaper.
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
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.
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