From meat consumption to automobile production to hydropower, Vital Signs 2013 documents over two dozen trends that are shaping our future in concise analyses and clear tables and graphs. The twentieth volume of the Worldwatch Institute series demonstrates that while remarkable progress has been made over the past year, much remains to be done to get the planet on a more sustainable track. Worldwide, people are waking up to the realities of a resource-constrained planet: investments and subsidies for renewable energy have reached new heights, consumers are slowly shifting away from meat-heavy diets, and new employment structures like co-operatives are democratizing the global economy.
Yet with over 1 billion people lacking access to electricity, natural disasters that are more costly than ever before, and an adherence to the factory farm model of food production, it is clear that many obstacles loom on the horizon. Covering a wide range of environmental, economic, and social themes, Vital Signs 2013 is the go-to source for straightforward data and analyses on the latest issues facing an increasingly crowded planet.
By placing each trend within a global framework, Vital Signs 2013 identifies the solutions we need to transition toward a more sustainable world.
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 recognised 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, emphasising a blend of government leadership, private sector enterprise, and citizen action that can make a sustainable future a reality.
"In all there are 28 topics, usually four pages long, which summarise the latest data from around the world. Not a book for reading but a valuable resource for teaching about human impacts at a global level. Whether it is aquaculture, carbon capture, climate migration or renewable energy investment you will find the data here, all carefully referenced."
– David Walton, The BES Bulletin 45(2), June 2014