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Checking Earth’s vital signs

Helen Palmer Jul 13, 2006
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Checking Earth’s vital signs

Helen Palmer Jul 13, 2006
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SCOTT JAGOW: A new survey from the Worldwatch Institute looks at a pretty big topic: the health of the planet. As Helen Palmer tells us, the price of economic growth might be the environment.


HELEN PALMER: More steel and aluminum were produced than ever before in 2005. Also more cars, more grain and more pesticides. 2005’s global economy was a record too.

ERIC ASSADOURIAN: The total is $59.6 trillion.

But Worldwatch’s Eric Assadourian says there was also record weather-related destruction in 2005. And use of fossil fuels pushed up carbon dioxide levels to a new high.

Assadourian says that trend’s unsustainable. But he finds comfort in another trend:

ASSADOURIAN: Biofuel production is growing very rapidly, as it solar and wind. Solar increased 45 percent in 2005.

Renewables supply less than 20 percent of the world’s energy, but Assadourian says that’ll change, because venture capitalists are keen to invest in them.

In Boston, I’m Helen Palmer for Marketplace.

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