State of the World 1996

January 1996
ISBN: 0-393-313935-5
249 pages

In this 1996 edition of State of the World 1996, Lester R. Brown and the other researchers at Worldwatch identify and describe the rapid acceleration of trends that is driving the human experiment across thresholds of change far more rapidly than in the past, challenging our ability to react rationally and quickly.

And yet, at the same time, State of the World 1996 demonstrates that our knowledge about the earth -- and the potential for understanding -- is increasing rapidly also. Evidence for climate change, effects of ecosystem damage, and the efficiencies of sustainable industries is accumulating quickly, showing practical ways to deal with the negative trends that threaten to darken our children's future.

The challenge today is for all of us, from scientists to politicians, to integrate such new information into ongoing policy at all levels. The greater challenge for our leaders is to act on these challenges quickly, before the margin for error disappears.

State of the World is the flagship publication of the Worldwatch Institute, which was founded in 1974 to inform policymakers and the general public about the damage being done by the world economy to its environmental support system. Worldwatch researchers were among the first to call attention to such trends as fuelwood shortages in the developing world, global water scarcity, the potential of solar and wind power, and the emergence of China as a potentially massive grain importer.

The Institute also publishes periodic monographs on current environmental issues, Vital Signs, the bi-monthly magazine World Watch, and the Environmental Alert Series. Respected by scientists, academics, environmentalists, business leaders and policy makers, Worldwatch researchers were among the first to call attention to the collapse of oceanic fisheries, the effects of spreading water scarcity and the ecological disasters in Eastern Europe.

State of the World is translated into 27 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. National governments, United Nations agencies, the international development community, and lawmakers rely on State of the World for current, authoritative, and well-reasoned environmental policy analysis and information available. More than 500 colleges and university courses ranging from biology to political science use State of the World as a text.

In clear and concise language, backed with easy to read charts and tables, State of the World presents a message we cannot afford to ignore. It has been enthusiastically reviewed by such newspapers as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and the New York Review of Books.