State of the World 2003

January 2003
ISBN: 0-393-05173-0
241 pages

"The most comprehensive, up-to-date, and accessible summaries...on the global environment."
—E. O. Wilson, Pulitzer Prize winner

If we are going to reverse biodiversity loss, dampen the effects of global warming, and eliminate the scourge of persistent poverty, we need to reinvent ourselves—as individuals, as societies, as corporations, and as governments.

In this 20th anniversary edition of a Worldwatch classic, the Institute’s highly respected interdisciplinary research team argues that past successes—such as the elimination of smallpox and the encouraging drop in birth rates in many countries—prove that humanity is capable of redirecting itself in positive ways.

Most encouraging, the world is sitting on the cusp of similar successes that could usher in a sustainable human civilization. The use of clean, renewable energy technologies, like wind turbines and photovoltaics for example, is growing at over 25 percent per year, and they are increasingly competitive with fossil fuels. Organic farming is the fastest-growing sector of the world agricultural economy, with the potential to rejuvenate rural communities from the Philippines to Sweden. And a quickening of religious interest in

The challenges are still immense, of course, as the book also documents, but the building blocks for a historic reinvention of human civilization are now within reach.