Earth Issues

earth-moon-sunThe Water Issue

Most recent climate change predictions indicate that melting glaciers and reduced precipitation could negatively affect water supplies around the world. How are governments coping with impending shortfalls in freshwater? How will this affect global politics?

The Forests Issue

Around the globe, forests are facing threats as never before. Tropical rainforests are under new pressure as nations raze trees to make ways for biofuels. In temperate regions, logging continues to undermine unique boreal ecosystems. At the same time, climate change is causing new problems as rising temperatures allow pests and diseases to thrive. What are some of the unique 21st century threats to our forests? What innovative new ways are people working to address those threats?

The Oceans Issue

According to the UN, if current rates of seafood consumption continue, most of the ocean ecosystems will be in a state of collapse by 2045. At the same time, continued pollution — from plastic bags to ship sonar to chemical disposal — puts strains on our ocean ecosystem. How are scientists, advocates, and governments responding to these threats? How is climate change transforming the way we preserve our oceans? What will aquaculture, desalination technologies, and ocean conservation look like in the 21st century?

The Population Issue

Since the time of Thomas Malthus, there have been warnings that human population increases were about to overload the Earth’s carrying capacity. Today, some 6 billion people inhabit the planet, but many of them don’t have access to basic human needs such as clean water and nutritious food. The UN predicts the globe’s population could increase to 9 billion by mid-century. Is this sustainable? Desirable? How are converging eco-crises transforming the long-standing debates over population reduction? What lessons have population control advocates learned from the past? And how, if at all, does global immigration influence the political discussion?

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