Worldwatch Releases 2001 State of the World Report


Worldwatch Institute released its annual report, State of the World 2001. It notes that signs of accelerated ecological decline and loss of political momentum on environmental issues are emerging simultaneously. Scientific evidence indicates that many global ecosystems are reaching dangerous thresholds. The Arctic ice cap is thinner by 42 percent and 27 percent of the world’s coral reefs have been lost, suggesting that some of the planet’s key ecological systems are in decline. Natural disasters associated with environmental degradation cost $608 billion over the last decade – as much as in the previous four decades combined. The encouraging signs of progress include the worldwide treaty signed in December to severely restrict 12 persistent organic pollutants. Organic farming now has a worldwide annual market of $22 billion. But fossil fuel use must slow dramatically to avoid acute water shortages, declining food production, and the proliferation of deadly diseases such as malaria. State of the World 2001 calls for stronger enforcement of international treaties, and for increased North-South cooperation. A collective commitment by the E9 (China, India, U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Japan, South Africa, EU) to renewable energy systems, for example, could have a dramatic impact on energy markets and reduce the […]

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