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Resolutions for a More Livable Planet

If the nation could make New Year's resolutions, what would they be? Many possibilities come to mind, but one of the most pressing challenges the United States--and indeed, the world--will face in the next few decades is how to alleviate the growing stress that human activities are placing on the environment. The consequences are just too great to ignore. Wildlife habitats are being degraded or are disappearing altogether as new developments take up more land. Plant and animal species are becomi

Thomas Graedel

If the nation could make New Year's resolutions, what would they be? Many possibilities come to mind, but one of the most pressing challenges the United States--and indeed, the world--will face in the next few decades is how to alleviate the growing stress that human activities are placing on the environment. The consequences are just too great to ignore. Wildlife habitats are being degraded or are disappearing altogether as new developments take up more land. Plant and animal species are becoming extinct at a greater rate now than at any time in the Earth's history. As much as 30 percent of the world's fish stocks are overexploited. And the list goes on.

Yet, there is reason to have hope for the future. Advances in computing power and molecular biology are among the tremendous increases in scientific capability that are helping researchers gain a better understanding of these problems. And scientific...

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