World Weather Watch

25 languages. In 1992, Vital Signs: The Trends That Are Shaping Our Future came into being—an annual series designed to be even more accessible, with its "brief, digestible glimpses into more than 50 issues affecting the world each year." The group publishes a bimonthly magazine, World Watch, and has moved to Web-based education recently with Vital Signs Online. It also produces an occasional series of books on specialized issues.

Worldwatch is not a one-issue organization, having written about a very wide range of environmental issues including energy, water pollution and availability, soil erosion and other agricultural concerns, population, biodiversity, materials recycling and conservation, forests, toxic materials, and so on. However, it seeks to foster recognition that these issues are inextricably tied to issues of social justice and peace. It began paying consistent attention to the relationship between social and environmental issues, particularly in international settings, much earlier than most environmental organizations. It began calling attention to the need for a sustainable society in at least 1982, five years before "sustain-ability" began to gain widespread attention with the publication of the Brundtland Commission report, Our Common Future. One of the features of its website is an item entitled "Natural Disasters and Peacemaking." A premise is that natural disasters can serve as a means of breaking down social and political barriers, leading to opportunities for peace.

A desire to inspire change in societal attitudes and actions from a grassroots perspective is a hallmark of this organization. It seeks to effect change not by force from the top but by educating the public and thereby inspiring them to demand change.

Worldwatch spends 78.4 percent of its overall budget to pay for the programs and services it exists to provide. Its administrative expenses use 6.7 percent of its budget, and fundraising accounts for another 14.7 percent. Worldwatch spends $0.19 to raise each dollar it earns. Christopher Flavin's compensation for fiscal year 2005 was $95,000, which amounted to 3.38 percent of the group's total budget—a larger percentage (though a smaller amount) than the leaders of many other environmental organizations such as World Resources Institute, Environmental Defense, or the Natural Resources Defense Council.

sEE ALso: Developing Countries; Resources for the Future (RFF); Sustainability; World Resources Institute.

BIBLIoGRAPHY. Charity Navigator, http://www.charitynavi-gator.org (cited August 1, 2007); Worldwatch Institute, Linda Starke ed., State of the World 2007: An Urban Planet (W.W. Norton, 2007); Worldwatch Institute, http://www. worldwatch.org (cited October 31, 2007).

Pamela Rands Gordon Rands Western Illinois University

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment