• Karen Cummings

Report Outlines Future Global Concerns

Our planet is in trouble.

This is the overall conclusion of a recently completed three-year study titled "Global 2000." The study, prepared by 13 US Government Agencies, warns that without closer international cooperation, there will be continuing degradation of the world environment, accelerated depletion of vital natural resources and crushing overpopulation.

"If present trends continue," the report states, " the world in 2000 will be - more crowded, more polluted, and more vulnerable to disruption that the world we live in now. Serious stresses involving population, resources and environment are clearly visible ahead. Despite greater natural output, the world's people will be poorer in many ways that they are today."

The nearly 800-page report examined such areas as energy, climate changes, water resources, farm land and population. Highlights of the report which was presented recently to President Carter are:

Population: world population will increase at a rate of 100 million per year. The world's population will reach 6.35 billion at the end of this century (compared with 4 billion in 1975). Where there are two people today, there will be three twenty years from now. And, ninety percent of this growth will occur in the poorest countries.

Climate: concentrations of carbon dioxide and ozone depleting chemicals are expected to increase at rates that could warm the world's climate with a possible melting of the polar ice caps.

Energy: world oil production will approach its limits and many less developed countries will have severe difficulties meeting energy needs.

Plant and Animal Species: these may decrease dramatically, with 20 percent of all species on earth made extinct, especially in tropical forests by 2000.

Water Resources: supplies of drinking water will become increasingly erratic as population growth doubles demand.

Arable land: will increase only four percent by 2000, while population will increase dramatically. This could mean hunger for millions with possible social unrest.

This report, perhaps the most comprehensive of its kind ever produced, has prompted a good deal of official concern. A Presidential task force has been appointed to review and guide United States action in the global resources area.

This report and all the available evidence leaves no doubt that the world - including this nation - faces enormous, urgent and complex problems in the decades immediately ahead.

And as this report states, "Prompt and vigorous changes in public policy around the world are needed. If decisions are delayed unti the problems become worse, options for effective action will be severely reduced.

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