Vital Signs 2012: The Trends That Are Shaping Our Future

Overview


Just as people schedule regular check-ups with physicians, our planet needs regular check-ups to catch issues as early as possible, before they become more serious and harder to heal. That is the much-needed service provided on a global scale by the Worldwatch Institute in this new book, Vital Signs 2012.
 
By taking stock of global consumption, Vital Signs 2012 offers the facts that need to guide our stewardship of the Earth's ...
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Vital Signs 2012: The Trends that are Shaping Our Future

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Overview


Just as people schedule regular check-ups with physicians, our planet needs regular check-ups to catch issues as early as possible, before they become more serious and harder to heal. That is the much-needed service provided on a global scale by the Worldwatch Institute in this new book, Vital Signs 2012.
 
By taking stock of global consumption, Vital Signs 2012 offers the facts that need to guide our stewardship of the Earth's resources-and some of these facts are shocking. The report covers topics from obesity to ecosystem services, from grain production to nuclear power. Taken as a whole, it paints a picture of skyrocketing population, disappearing forests, and increasing consumption peppered with bright spots like growing investment in high-speed trains and other efficient transportation systems.
 
Vital Signs 2012 is based on Worldwatch's online project of the same name, which provides up-to-date figures on important global concerns, as well as the Institute's own additional research. The book compiles the most important of these into an accessible, informative resource for policymakers and anyone who wants a realistic look at the state of our planet.
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Editorial Reviews

Reference & Research Book News

"Each trend report is concise, using quantitative metrics and graphs to assess and present the trend in a few pages."
Spacing

"These lines that tie the world together are surreptitiously hidden just beyond our field of view, but Vital Signs does an amazing job of bringing everything into focus."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610913713
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2012
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 1,432,881
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Founded in 1974 by farmer and economist Lester Brown, Worldwatch was the first independent research institute devoted to the analysis of global environmental concerns. Worldwatch quickly became recognized by opinion leaders around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Now under the leadership of population expert and author Robert Engelman, Worldwatch develops innovative solutions to intractable problems, emphasizing a blend of government leadership, private sector enterprise, and citizen action that can make a sustainable future a reality.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Preface 11

Energy Trends 15

Oil Market Resumes Growth after Stumble in 2009 16

Global Natural Gas Consumption Regains Momentum 19

Nuclear Generation Capacity Falls 23

Global Wind Power Growth Takes a Breather in 2010 26

Another Record Year for Solar Power, but Clouds on the Horizon 29

Biofuels Regain Momentum 32

Global Hydropower Installed Capacity and Use Increase 35

Energy Poverty Remains a Global Challenge for the Future 38

Transportation Trends 43

Auto Industry Stages Comeback from Near-Death Experience 44

High-Speed Rail Networks Expand 48

Environment and Climate Trends 53

Carbon Markets Struggle to Maintain Momentum 54

Carbon Capture and Storage Attracts Government Attention 58

Food and Agriculture Trends 61

World Grain Production Down in 2010, but Recovering 62

Organic Agriculture Sustained through Economic Crisis 65

Sugar Production Dips 69

Fish Production from Aquaculture Rises While Marine Fish Stocks Continue to Decline 72

Meat Production and Consumption Continue to Grow 76

Global Economy and Resources Trends 79

World's Forests Continue to Fall as Demand for Food and Land Goes Up 80

Tropical Forests Push Payments for Ecosystem Services onto the Global Stage 83

Value of Fossil Fuel Subsidies Declines, National Bans Emerging 86

Energy Intensity Is Rising Slightly 90

Population and Society Trends 93

World Labor Force Growing at Divergent Rates 94

Women Slowly Close Gender Gap with Men 98

Numbers of Overweight on the Rise 101

Notes 105

The Vital Signs Series 127

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