State of the World 1987

January 1987
ISBN: 0-393-30389-6
268 pages

"Our relationship with the earth and its natural systems is changing, often in ways that we do not understand," writes former Worldwatch Institute President Lester R. Brown and Senior Researcher Sandra Postel. "The scale of human activities threatens the habitability of the earth itself. A sustainable society satisfies its needs without diminishing the prospects of the next generation. But by many measures, contemporary society fails to meet this criterion."

State of the World 1987 examines the counterpoint of urgency and uncertainty that has come to dominate world affairs in an age when the environmental consequences of human activities transcend national boundaries. The report is the fourth in an annual series from Worldwatch assessing worldwide progress toward achieving a sustainable society. Producers of the award-winning NOVA programs on public television worked with the Institute to develop a ten-part documentary series on the State of the World reports.

The 1987 report assesses human-caused disruptions of global chemical cycles; evaluates the worldwide reappraisal of nuclear power after the Chernobyl accident; profiles the accelerating urbanization of the world's population; discusses the shift to reliance on markets in a growing number of countries; and advocates new initiatives in recycling materials and raising agricultural productivity.