Free Worldwatch Research

Natural Gas and Sustainable Energy Initiative Briefing Papers

This briefing paper series is designed to explore and communicate the potential of natural gas, renewable energy, and energy efficiency to work together to build a low-carbon economy. The papers provide a forum to examine potential environmental, social, and political obstacles that must be addressed if natural gas is to accelerate, rather than delay, a low-carbon energy transformation.

This publication available for free download.

Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry

This report draws on lessons from Germany, Spain, Japan, and China, the four dominant international rail manufacturing countries, to conclude that greater investment in U.S. rail manufacturing could revive America’s former leadership in the world rail industry-–and potentially create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Written for the Apollo Alliance in partnership with Northeastern University and the Duke University Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness.

Renewable Revolution: Low-Carbon Energy by 2030

The transition to a highly efficient economy that utilizes renewable energy is essential for developed and developing countries alike. This is the only way that degradation of Earth’s climate system can be halted, and the only real option for raising billions of people out of poverty. The current reliance on fossil fuels is not supportable by poor developing countries, and increasing demand for fossil fuels is creating dangerous competition for remaining available resources of oil and gas. The challenge is to devise a transition strategy that improves the lives of all citizens by providing them with essential energy services that do not disrupt the climate system, degrade the environment, or create conflict over resources.

Worldwatch Report #178: Low-Carbon Energy: A Roadmap

Technologies available today, and those expected to become competitive over the next decade, will permit a rapid decarbonization of the global energy economy. New renewable energy technologies, combined with a broad suite of energy-efficiency advances, will allow global energy needs to be met without fossil fuels and by adding only minimally to the cost of energy services.

American Energy - The Renewable Path to Energy Security

In advocating the thoughtful expansion of renewable technologies, American Energy presents a clear and practical path to end this country’s troublesome addiction to fossil fuels.

Good Stuff? A Behind-the-Scenes Guide to the Things We Buy

Have you ever wondered where chocolate comes from, if antibacterial soap is good for your family, or how to recycle an old computer? If you've had these or other questions about the environmental and social impacts of the products you buy and use, Good Stuff is for you. It contains many of the tips, facts, and links you'll need to start making more informed purchases that benefit your health and the environment.

This publication available for free download. 

Beyond Malthus: Nineteen Dimensions of the Population Challenge

by Lester Brown, Gary Gardner, Brian Halweil 

Should you be worried about world population growth? The birth rate is falling in many industrialized countries; in some cases populations are actually shrinking. But in many nations where the population has exploded in recent decades, birth rates remain high, and populations will likely double or triple in the next half-century. Nevertheless, these nations are showing the early signs of "demographic fatigue" —a slowdown in population growth due not to smaller families but to increasing death rates.

In examining the stakes involved in potentially adding another 3.3 billion people to the world population over the next fifty years, the authors of Beyond Malthus call for immediate expansion of international family planning assistance to the millions of couples who still lack access, and new investment in educating young people—especially women—in the Third World, helping to promote a shift to smaller families.

This publication available for free download.