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Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d97jan54

State of the World 1997, L.R. Brown, C. Flavin et al., 229 pp., Jan. 1997, $13.95/Can.$17.99 (Norton for Worldwatch).

Because this 14th edition in the series coincides with these important milestones — the fifth anniversary of the Earth Summit and the tenth anniversary of the Montreal Protocol — progress in addressing global environmental problems is reviewed. Although some gains have been made in planning for sustainability, the planet's broad trends of environmental and resource degradation persist. For example, the grainland base is contracting and climate change threatens to disrupt the ecological foundations of the global economy. Singles out eight nations (dubbed the E8) that most shape the global environment and have the fate of the Earth in their hands: China, India, the U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Japan and Germany. They could become an important catalytic force on environmental questions and play a major role in bridging North-South differences.

The Montreal Protocol is hailed as the most successful effort to date to deal effectively with a global environmental problem. Its success stems in part from a precedent-setting effort to forge scientific consensus, and the diplomatic response to scientific information, despite considerable uncertainty.

Item #d97jan55

Global Environmental Outlook — 1, prepared for the U.N. Environ. Prog., Jan. 1997 (UNEP).

Despite work to counter ecological degradation, the Earth's environment has worsened over the last decade; progress toward sustainability is slow, and a sense of urgency is lacking. The unsustainability of the global energy sector is one of the emerging trends cited. Among four areas for immediate international action are drastic changes in current patterns of energy use, and global distribution and application of environmentally sound technologies. (See Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 11, Jan. 8, 1997.)

Item #d97jan56

How Global is Global and How Warm is Warming, 20 pp., 1996, $5 (TERI).

A brief report that introduces the problem of global warming and climate change, highlights the issues and challenges involved, and presents the projections of rising temperatures and effective responses from the international community.

Item #d97jan57

Environmental Science Under Siege: A Report to the Democratic Caucus of the Committee on Science, Oct. 1996. Released by Rep. George Brown (D-CA) of the House of Representatives' Committee on Science. Available from the Committee's Minority Office (tel: 202 225 6375. The full text is also on the Internet: science_democrats/welcome.htm.

A detailed rebuttal of many of the arguments of skeptics regarding climate change and ozone depletion that reviews, almost line-by-line, the testimony given at hearings held in 1995. The report also provides a more general overview of Republican claims that many environmental regulations were not based on sound science. (See Global Environ. Change Rep., pp. 1-3, Nov. 8, 1996.)

Item #d97jan58

U.S. Interests Supported, but Oversight Needed to Help Ensure Improved Performance (GAO/NSIAD-96-212), 93 pp., Sep. 1996, no charge (GAO).

The recent, rapid increase in private investment in developing countries has raised questions about whether the World Bank works to enhance or inhibit this trend. Weaknesses in project effectiveness have raised questions about the Bank's ability to spur economic development. And the Bank has had difficulty demonstrating the impact of reforms intended to improve its effectiveness. This report examines whether continued participation in the Bank is in the U.S. interest.

Item #d97jan59

Science & Engineering Indicators 1996, 1996 (GAO).

A broad compendium of statistics on science funding, education and public attitudes, produced under guidance of the National Science Board and the National Science Foundation. The survey of over 2,000 Americans shows that citizens continue to agree that the benefits of scientific research outweigh any harmful results. Regarding global warming, one of every nine people surveyed could offer an explanation of it. While 23% could explain how CFCs contribute to ozone depletion, only 14% could say where in the atmosphere that occurs, and 63% did not understand why ozone depletion might be a health risk. (See Eos, p. 339, Aug. 27, 1996.)

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