State of the Earth, 2010

We’re excited to announce the launch of National Geographic’s EarthPulse: State of the Earth 2010. Beautifully produced by our NG Maps pals across the courtyard, this visual guide to global trends is available today for purchase online and at newsstands and bookstores.

Through images, diagrams, and maps the visual almanac tells the sobering story of how our actions affect others and the future of our planet. National Geographic CEO John Fahey says in its foreword that the almanac’s message is akin to what your doctor says at your yearly physical: slow down and consume less.

View Images

This, the second annual edition of the almanac, and the first distributed by NG, is organized by theme: population, migration, quality of life, human impact on the environment, consumption, technology, and globalization. Despite bad news, it concludes on a hopeful note, outlining nine ways we can start to address these multifaceted global issues.

Here’s a sampling of the thought-provoking demographic, environmental, and cultural facts that jumped out at me while paging through EarthPulse:

•    The world’s population of 6.8 billion expands by 200,000 individuals each day;

•    By mid-century, the world’s population will likely reach 9.2 billion;

•    Three percent of the world’s population live outside their country of birth;

•    By 2010, 50 million people may be displaced by environmental disasters;

•    Since 2003, 1.6 million Sudanese women and children have been displaced due to conflict in their homeland;

•    If everyone consumed like Americans, we’d need 5.4 Earths to sustain us. In contrast, Indians need only 0.4 of an Earth to sustain their consumption patterns, though this may certainly shift as their middle class continues to grow;

View Images

•    Farming and ranching guzzle 64 percent of the world’s water while more than a billion people worldwide lack access to a safe water supply;

•    The U.S. consumes 23 percent of the world’s energy though we constitute only 5 percent of the world’s population;

•    For the first time in human history, half of all humans live in cities.

Get a copy for yourself today and be sure to check out EarthPulse’s interactive website.