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State of the World 2012: Creating Sustainable Prosperity Paperback – 15 Apr 2012

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State of the World 2012: Creating Sustainable Prosperity + State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? + Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; 2nd edition (15 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610910370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610910378
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 746,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Top-ranked annual books on sustainable development. --Globescan survey of sustainable experts

The most comprehensive, up-to-date, and accessible summaries . . . on the global environment. --E. O. Wilson, Pulitzer prize winner

About the Author

The Worldwatch Institute is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit research and publishing organization dedicated to fostering the evolution of an environmentally sustainable society.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Inspiration for both policy makers, negotiators and me as "normal" civilian 3 Aug 2012
By H.J. van der Klis - Published on
Format: Paperback
In the 2012 edition of its flagship report, celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the Rio de Janeiro 1992 Earth Summit with a far-reaching analysis of progress toward building sustainable economies. Written in clear language with easy-to-read charts, State of the World 2012 offers a new perspective on what changes and policies will be necessary to make sustainability a permanent feature of the world's economies. The Worldwatch Institute has been named one of the top three environmental think tanks in the world by the University of Pennsylvania's Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program.
The first part consists of 15-20 page articles reviewing recent sustainability developments, such as:
- green economy, work
- degrowth in developed countries, not to be interpreted as deliberately causing a crisis.
- inclusive and sustainable urban development (housing, public transport, public space, slums)
- sustainable transport
- information & communications technologies, enablers for livable, equitable, sustainable cities
- the western corporation reinvented (forget short-term shareholder value, foster sustainability)
- governance

To give even more examples of how sustainability goals can be reached, Part 2 delivers short articles (2-10 pages each) on:
- 9 population strategies to stop short of 9 billion people (from anticonception, education to removing work barriers)
- from light green to sustainable buildings (maybe we need thicker walls again)
- more-sustainable consumption
- mobilization of the business community (examples from Brazil)
- agriculture
- food security
- biodiversity: combating the 6th mass extinction of species
- ecosystem services
- local governmental structure

Statistics and world-wide practices in easy readable info boxes illustrate these core messages. Some of the articles are to the point, specific, measurable and realistic. Other articles are written from a more theoretical point of view, such as ecosystem services (e.g. what's the value of that nearby river or forest?). Inspiration for both policy makers, negotiators and me as "normal" civilian in The Netherlands.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Thought provoking and informative 19 May 2013
By Margot McMahon - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A must read for all earthlings. This give an immediacy and importance to making decisions every day to impact global warming in a productive and healing way. Stay informed, do the right thing, read 'State of the World'
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Some good, some seem more like grant proposals 31 Dec 2012
By EasterEd - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a good if very biased group of essays. Many of the authors sight work and research from companies that they are directly affiliated with. Most of those do not disclose these relationships. There are many things that are taken for granted in some of the essays and many things that are ignored. Example: Ethical and moral dilemmas of restricting population growth. Not bad overall though. The last few chapters, the "Tool Box" section, would make a good discussion group source for certain global issues, but it definitely needs to be balanced with other sources.
This is really the good fight, and one that can be won 3 May 2014
By Bob Taos - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is part of a series of annual reviews of our society's effects on the world's environment. Each series is both frightening and hopeful. Frightening in its objective descriptions of our impacts and the damage we've caused to everything from climate to the ocean's ability to support life. Hopeful in the thoughtful suggestions for policies to protect the earth for future generations and the stories of movements and groups all over the world fighting for a sustainable and healthy future. This is really the good fight, and one that can be won.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Reviews from several sites 9 July 2012
By sustainableprosperity - Published on
Format: Paperback
Here are several reviews of this book, and its blog, in case you would like to read more: [...]

"The most comprehensive, up-to-date, and accessible summaries . . . on the global environment."
E.O. Wilson, Pulitzer Prize winner

"Top-ranked annual books on sustainable development."
GlobeScan survey of sustainable experts

**"Prosperity and environmentalism are not enemies. "Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity" discusses how the world can encourage economic growth while staying true to the environment. Stating that the world has been abusing much of the environment and economically the world is in bad shape as well. The thinkers of the Worldwatch Institute present their own ideas on how to reverse both fronts and present a better future for both mankind's wallets and the environment. A wise read for the world's future, "Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity" is a solid and much recommended read for environmental and science collections." -Midwest Book Review, [...]

**The New Agriculturalist said, "From species loss to water scarcity to deforestation, stress on the environment and pressure on natural resources have increased markedly since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. For example, 52 per cent of commercial fish stocks are fully exploited, about 20 per cent are over exploited and 8 per cent are depleted. Twenty years on, the Rio+20 Summit, to be held in June 2012, will be looking at ways to build a `green economy' in order to achieve sustainable development and reduce poverty.

To promote discussion around this topic, Worldwatch Institute's flagship State of the world 2012 aims to raise the profile of innovative projects, creative policies and new approaches that will create sustainable prosperity, equally shared, as the world population continues to grow, urbanisation rises and ecological systems decline. "The reports and ideas in the [book] are designed not as a blueprint for Rio's discussions but as proposals for that change, proposals to be considered and worked on before and after the conference ends," explains Robert Engelman, Worldwatch Institute President, in the preface.

The book draws attention to the need for `measurable action' on green jobs, nutritious food, sustainable energy, safe water, healthy oceans, thriving cities and fewer and less disruptive disasters. Clear strategies for building sustainable prosperity are suggested in nine separate chapters, including ways to stabilise human and livestock populations, produce enough food to feed the world in a way that is sustainable and equitable, combat climate change and habitat loss, and develop better value ecosystem services.

"As we mark the twentieth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit with a new vision of a sustainable future, we have a chance to live up to our profound responsibility as stewards of the natural and man-made environments that sustain us," writes Ford Foundation President, Luis A. Ubiñas, in the foreword. "Let's make the most of this moment." -- [...]
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