The Sierra Magazine is provided to members of The Sierra Club every 2 months and features a column by Bod Schidgen ("Ask Mr. Green"), a cartoon column dealing with outdoor emergencies (in this issue, what to do when confronted by a cougar), reports of interest concerning conservation (in this issue, what to order in a sushi bar that is most sustainable), as well as trips, hikes and outdoor adventure, The July/August 2016 issue celebrates100 years of National Parks and has articles by Terry Tempest Williams and Raul Griljava. By joining the Sierra Club, you can be aware and actively participate in the conservation of our natural treasures.
Vital Signs Volume 22 reports the major environmental and economic trends for 2015. This edition covers energy trends, environmental and climate trends, transportation trends, food and agriculture trends, global economy and resources trends and population and society trends. Again, there is much to do in all these areas. Human beings need to take action on many fronts to avert the many calamities that current trends portend. By reading this volume of Vital Signs you can at least become aware of the problems that we, as a species, face.
Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability iis the 2015 State of the World report of the Worldwatch Institute, and, once again, the staff of Worldwatch has shown humanity marching in lockstep to corporate profit to an unhappy future--one that could be avoided if we only act soon enough. Naomi Klein and David Korten have recently presented a similar trajectory; David Brower famously stated years ago that "Business is killing the world." State of the World 2015 cites significant hidden threats: energy, credit, and the end of growth; curbing growth; stranded assets; declining harvests; decline of the oceans; Arctic changes; emerging diseases from animals; climate migrants--some of these but not are subsidiaries of climate change. The solutions required go far beyond the realm of technical adaptions. Large-scale social, economic, and political engineering--fundamental changes in the way humans live on Planet Earth are required if humanity is to have a comfortable and acceptable future.
The Audubon Magazine is not just about birds--worldwide, birds, like the "canary in the coal mine'" are indicators of the status of our planet's livability. Birds are prophetic. The prophesy that they convey is not good for humanity, not to mention the planet as a whole. Audubon Magazine is for bird-lovers but as importantly emphasizes destructive environmental calamities that are currently occurring. Save the birds; save the planet. Currently, unfortunately, birds are harbingers of doom. Details are available in Audubon Magazine.
The State of the World 2014 Worldwatch Institute collection of essays focuses on governance with the goal of sustainability. The 22 chapters offer analysis, suggestions, strategies, insights and activities to achieve a sustainable and socially just planet. The call is for a widespread powerful bottom-up, grassroots movement to wrest power from the global corporatocracy and its attend puppet governments. The task is daunting but not impossible, as the Worldwatch essayists show. We must do it!
We all would like to know the definitive answer to this question. Unfortunately, the contributors to The State of the World 2013 cannot give us the answer--maybe not, maybe so. The outlook looks dismal if humankind continues on its present of environmental disregard, "growth," consumerism, global corporatism and accelerated consumption. The will to make the necessary adjustments to allow Spaceship Earth to continue to function is present at the grassroots level. Paul Hawken has addressed this in Blessed Unrest, as have the contributors State of the World 2013. On almost all levels, politicians are failing us. Read especially chapter 21, Moving Toward a Global Moral Consensus on Environmental Action by Kathleen Dean Moore and Micheal Nelson. Planet Earth is fragile; the life-sustaining properties of our only home is the cosmos is being threatened--let us not fail in our moral obligations to future and present humanity.
The first half of State of the World 2012: Moving Toward a Sustainable Prosperity details the crescendo of problems threatening Earth at present; the second half offers solutions that, if carried out soon could prevent collapse and disaster. Again, WorldWatch emphasizes the urgency of our present situation and calls for action. As the second part of State of the World 2012 states, there is still hope if humanity acts quickly.
Vital Signs 2012 is not reading for the faint of heart. Even though two decades have passed since the first Earth Summit in Rio, not much has changed. The science is clear; literally thousands of NGOs like The Worldwatch Institute and The Earth Policy Institute have gathered and disseminated the information. The problem is failure of governance and policy.
The 2011 edition of State of the World, entitled Innovations that Nourish the Planet, details the problem of feeding & billion people in the face of declining arable land and depleted oceans. Not is all hopeless, however, Worldwatch Institute also details hopeful innovations in food production that can help meet humankind's need for more and more food.
Vital Signs, 2011 contains, as has previous editions, some good news and some bad news. Some of the good news: Solar photovoltaic capacity increased, by 20% in 2009, global wind power capacity grew by more than 31% overall, biofuels production increased by 9.6, farmers produced a near-record crop of grains at more than 2.25 billion tons--but the sea level continues to rise, human population is expected to reach7 billion by Halloween 2011 and 1 billion people go hungry each day.
“Tikkun” means "to mend, repair, and transform the world” or “to heal the Earth” in Hebrew. The magazine is the voice of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, which proposes the Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The ESRA is intended to “overturn Citizens United, get money out of politics, and stop corporations from destroying our planet.” Dennis Kucinich is a sometime contributor to the magazine. Rabbi Michael Lerner is the founder of NSP and co-editor of Tikkun; the magazine has a mystic Jewish slant, is challenging to read, full of profound ideas and should be on the reading list of anyone who wishes to save the planet.
The 2010 edition of Vital Signs, compiled by The Worldwatch Institute, emphasizes how little has been accomplished to reverse the ominous trends facing us. There is some good news, of course, but most is bad. Not a happy read overall, although there is some good news. Read this and take action where you can.
State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures/From Consumerism to Sustainability emphasizes the unsustainability of a consumption-based global culture. The Worldwatch Institute's researchers and essayists offer practical suggestions for moving to a culture of sustainability. Bill McKibben and Muhammad Yunus praise the book. This is the latest of must-read yearly publications from Worldwatch.
(The replica of The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, featured on the cover of State of the World 2010, was created by Chris Jordan from 2.3 million bits of plastic--a trivial drop in the bucket of the several millions of pounds of plastic that enter the world's oceans every hour!)
Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization is another compelling argument by Lester Brown and the Earth Policy Institute warning us that without dramatic changes in human behavior, a global-wide collapse of civilization is imminent. For the contrarians, this book is irrefutably documented-- of the 340 pages of text, 72 are devoted to scientific references and documentation. Brown offers a plan for prevention of the worst of the coming disaster, which, if enacted soon enough, can prevent civilization's collapse. Plan B 4.0 is an excellent companion to Gore's Our Choice and Diamond's Collapse.
Island Press Environmental Sourcebook is an important resource for everyone working to protect, improve and restore our Earth's environment. Book topics covered include climate & energy, green architecture, landscape architecture, land conservation planning, land use planning & design, biodiversity & wildlife, ecological restoration, ecosystem science & management, public lands, oceans, freshwater, forestry & fire, food & agriculture, human health, economics, policy & law and environmental thought. Search this resource athtpp://www.islandpress.org.
The sixteenth volume of the Worldwatch Institutes annual series represents an outstanding effort, even for Worldwatch! Vital Signs 2009 reveals, for example:
* Wind power has topped 100,000 megawatts of installed capacity.
*Oil demand grew at an annual rate of less than 2% from 2005 through 2007.
*Fish farming is the fastest-growing animal food sector, far outpacing all others.
* The number of people who are on the miove involuntarily worldwide may be roughly equivalent to the populatio of Brazil or 1/36 of all people on Earth.
State of the World 2009: Into a Warming World brings out clearly the difference between inaction based on a business-as-usual approach and action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Into a Warming World frames the challenge by emphasizing the importance not only of new technologies but also a very different approach in terms of human behaviors and choices.
State of the World 2008 is the 25th Anniversary Edition of the WorldWatch Institute's annual reports on the trends that are shaping our planet. State of the World 2008 details innovations for a sustainable planetary economy. Fourteen essays discuss innovations in production, lifestyles, low-carbon economy, biodiversity, the commons, investing for sustainability, trade governance and other subjects. State of the World is a yearly must read for everyone concerned about the future of planet Earth.
The National Green Pages is published yearly by Co-op America, a NGO whose mission is to harness economic power to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Use the National Green Pages to find organic food, body care and cleaning supplies, for socially responsible investing, to find fair food items, green building materials and office supplies, sweatshop-free clothing and energy-saving appliances.
Vital Signs 2007-2008 describes the trends that currently are shaping our future. This edition discusses food and agriculture, energy and environment, social and economic issues, transportation and communication trends and conflict and peace. The data, of course carries over from year to year and thus remains a useful reference source.
State of the World 2007: Our Urban Future examines changes in the ways that cities are build, managed, and lived in that could lead to a healthier, more gratifying, peaceful and sustainable future.
Vital Signs 2006-2007 reports bad and good news. The bad news: 60% of Earth’s ecosystems are being degraded; 2005 was the hottest year on record; 20% of the Earth’s coral reefs have been destroyed and 50% are threatened. The good news: the total number of wars and armed conflicts is the lowest since peaking in the early 1990s; solar power grew by 45% in 2005; wind power by 24%; biofuels ;production by 22%.
The staff of the Worldwatch Institute focus the 2006 issue on China and India. The impact of biofuels on agriculture, nanotechnology, mercury and freshwater ecosystems are other subjects discussed.
This issue is focused on global security. The foreward is by Mikhail Gorbachev.
E--The Environmental Magazine is published by Earth Action Network bi-monthly. Informative articles keep environmental activists abreast of current problems, challenges and environmental successes. (http://www.emagazine.com/)
Orion explores an emerging alternative world view. Informed by a growing ecological awareness and the need for cultural change, it is a forum for thoughful and creative ideas and practical examples of how we might live justly, wisely and artfully on Earth. Contributing editors to Orion Magazine include Wendell Berry, Mark Dowie, David James Duncan, David Ehrenfield, Barbara Kingsolver, Barry Lopez, Scoot Russell Sanders and Terry Tempest Williams. The issue illustrated above contains articles by Wendell Berry, Winona Laduke and Bill McKibben, as well as an interview with Kenny Ausabel and Nina Simons of Bioneers. Subscribe at www.oriononline.org.
Conservation is the official publication of the Society for Conservation Biology. Less technical and of more interest to the non-professional in conservation biology than its predecessor, Conversation in Practice,Conservation is timely and readable. It is valuable to the professional biologist and conservation activist. For more information about the Society for Conservation Biology, go to www.conbio.org.
Wings is the quarterly publication of the Xerces Society. dedicated to the conservation of invertebrate species--"the little things that make the world run", as E. O. Wilson put it. Membership to the Xerces Society includes a subscrpiton to Wings. The jewel-like photographs of insects and other invertebrates alone are worth the cost of membership. (www.xerces.org)
Worldwatch Institute publishes "State of the World Library", a series of papers on critical environmental subjects, of which "Mainstreaming Renewable Energy in the 21st Century" is an example. For a listing of currently available Worldwatch papers, go to www.worldwatch.org/pubs/paper.
YES! A Journal of Positive Futures is published quarterly by the Positive Futures Network, an independent, nonprofit organization that supports people's active engagement in creating a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world.
Executive Editor: Sarah Ruth van Gelder
Executive Director. PFN: Frances Korten
Chair. Board of Directors: David Korten
Special focus: The Consumer Society
Subscribe to the WorldWatch Institute for yearly issues of State of the World
Startling information in 2002; startling and politically unheeded today!