Creating a sustainable world is no longer a pipe-dream. It has become both a matter of survival and eminently do-able. For example:
- The cost for a full scale worldwide program to restore the environment and create sustainable societies is estimated by Worldwatch Institute to be only one-sixth of current world military spending.
- Using current proven energy-efficient technologies, the U.S. could save enough energy (and money) to pay off the national debt by the year 2000.
- Recycling is now only one-half the cost of its environmentally disastrous competitor, mass incineration.
- The media, the public, and even some major institutions are finally waking up to the depth of challenge the world is facing – from the greenhouse effect and deforestation to the garbage glut and water shortages, from toxic waste seeping into ground water to ecological collapse in Africa.
It is time to get on with it. It is time to move from theory into action and begin actually building a sustainable 21st century.
This issue offers a sampling from the many researchers and activists who have been preparing for this watershed time. Together, they offer a clear-eyed view of the challenges we face – both social and personal – and the many promising, practical options we have. We hope you will find their message as moving and heartening as we have.