The most serious environmental problems of the twenty-first century have the potential to alter the course of life on this planet. Global warming, toxic waste, water and air pollution, acid rain, and shrinking energy supplies are frightening challenges that may threaten our future if we do not face up to them. Global Environmental Challenges provides important information and gives us hope about the environment. This book first helps us to grasp these difficulties, then shows us the choices we can make. How long to leave a light on, whether to take the car, the train, or bicycle to work, whether to recycle or throw away, whether to vote to curb continued suburban sprawl-all of these decisions can make a difference. This collection of some of the best essays and articles on the environment comes from a variety of sources, including journals, magazines, websites of ecological/conservation organizations, and other publications. Five major sections investigate the interaction of population growth, consumption, and environment; the emerging crisis in freshwater around the globe; global climate and atmosphere (including global warming); biodiversity loss; and the concept of sustainable development-using natural resources to place future human development on a sustainable path. The final section on sustainable development reveals how we can take action. As individuals, we can make a difference readily and easily without making huge personal sacrifices. As societies, we can work together in a global community of interest to sustain the earth. This valuable resource offers readers a better understanding of our environmental problems and presents solutions to improving the health of the planet.
David E. Lorey is director of the U.S.-Latin American Relations Program at the Hewlett Foundation.