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Through research and outreach that inspire action, the Worldwatch Institute works to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world that meets human needs. The Institute's top mission objectives are universal access to renewable energy and nutritious food, expansion of environmentally sound jobs and development, transformation of cultures from consumerism to sustainability, and an early end to population growth through healthy and intentional childbearing.
Founded in 1974 by Lester Brown as an independent research institute devoted to global environmental concerns, Worldwatch was quickly recognized by opinion leaders around the world for its foresight and accessible, fact-based analysis. Now under the leadership of population expert and author Robert Engelman, Worldwatch develops innovative solutions to intractable problems, emphasizing a blend of government leadership, private sector enterprise, and citizen action that can make a sustainable future a reality.
The Worldwatch Institute publishes a variety of reports and books including State of the World, Vital Signs, and the Worldwatch Reports.
I've read every issue of Vital Signs since Worldwatch introduced it years ago. It contains a useful series of statistics on the state of the planet. A problem with the book, however, is the limited time frame of many of the charts. A lot of key environmental trends need to be tracked far back in time to see the total damage. A better book would be Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Third Edition by Lester Brown. I have a review on that on its page. I also have a list of future studies books on my profile. Brown was the orginal creator of Worldwatch and Vital Signs but quit Worldwatch and now runs the Earth Policy Institute. If you want to dowload digital versions of the data (for a fee) you can go the Worldwatch website.
World energy consumption is consistently breaking records and undermining climate and life on the planet, and the 44 trends tracked here in the annually-updated VITAL SIGNS are keys to understanding these trends and their sources. The largest polluter is the U.S.: the recommendation here is that Europe should be pressuring the US to join in international climate negotiations to head off catastrophic climate changes. High school, college and general-interest libraries alike will welcome this survey of facts which will provide both grounds for classroom discussion and food for thought.
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