State of the World 1989

January 1989
ISBN: 0-393-30567-8
256 pages

This sixth annual examination of the world's ecological health by the Worldwatch Institute comes at a time when people are worried about record hot summers, polluted beaches, and drought-induced food shortages. This rising concern results from personal experiences in 1988 reinforced by the news that global warming has arrived, that tropical forests are disappearing much faster than we thought, and that a thinning of the earth's protective ozone layer threatens the health of people everywhere.

The 1989 edition warns that if we don't act quickly to reverse the environmental trends undermining the human prospect, environmental deterioration and social disintegration will begin to feed on each other.

State of the World 1989 includes a global action plan aimed at mobilizing the world community to join together and fight these problems. In this new era of increased awareness and concern, it is time to initiate major efforts to slow population growth, meet future food needs, reverse deforestation and improve energy efficiency. The authors note the role that grass-roots organizations can play in such efforts and urge a strengthening of the capabilities of international institutions.

Other chapters focus on the problems of land degradation, ozone depletion, over-reliance on automobiles, and the global AIDS epidemic. In addition, the report describes how environmental deterioration is creating a new class of refugees and is forcing societies to turn from a narrow, military view of national security to a broader goal of enhancing global security. Cooperative efforts for sustainable development must accompany the world's halting steps toward disarmament and economic conversion.