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World Watch group releases report card on environment
World Watch has issued a report card for the planet to mark Earth Day 2000. The Washington, D.C.-based group determined that over the past 30 years:
Pervasive toxins like DDT and PCBs drift across water and air currents, accumulating in plants and animals and working their way in higher concentrations as they go up the food chain, atop which stand humans. Biologists fear even minute amounts of such synthetic chemicals can disrupt the development of animal and human fetuses.
Human activities threaten other life forms too. Biologists warn that plant and animal species are now becoming extinct at the fastest rate in 65 million years.
Solar cells, hydrogen cars
As with any report card, World Watch offers tips for improvement, like stabilizing the world population, relying more on organic farming, preserving old growth timber stands and using alternatives to coal, oil and gas.
Some nations have adopted cleaner energy technologies. China makes the most energy-efficient compact florescent bulbs. India manufactures advanced turbines that harness wind power. Japan produces automobiles using electric power.
But a third revolution is needed to wrest the world from the grip of petroleum, according to World Watch researcher Christopher Flavin. "The key enabling technologies have already been developed and commercialized, but they occupy only small niche markets," he writes in the Earth Day 2000 report.
"The solar cell and hydrogen-electric car are steadily gaining market share (and) could foster a generation of mass-produced machines that efficiently and cleanly provide energy need to take a hot shower, sip a cold beer, or surf the Internet."
Nature - TV, radio, Internet sing same Earth Day theme
World Watch Magazine
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