Washington, DC, April 21, 2000 – There will be a lot to celebrate tomorrow when millions of people around the world gather on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. Despite the gloomy predictions of many environmental groups, the conditions of most of the world’s forests, oceans, and ecosystems have been under steady improvement for decades, and many are in the best condition in memory.
Through sustained private investment and the introduction of new technologies, environmental pioneers have managed to develop cleaner production methods, raise agricultural yields, and make better products with fewer materials. Meanwhile, better exploration methods have meant that the nations of the earth now have far more petroleum, ore, and mineral deposits than predicted, available for use with the new, cleaner technologies.
Even while populations have been rising around the world, both the standard of living and measures of environmental quality have also risen dramatically. Since the 1960s, levels of the air pollutants sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide have dropped over 75% in the US, and levels of lead have dropped an amazing 95% since just 1975 (source: Earth Report 2000: Revisiting the True State of the Planet (McGraw-Hill, 1999)). Best of all, such trends are poised to continue well into the future, giving participants in the next Earth Day even more to celebrate.
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