The United Nations Millenium Project has recently published its 2009 “State of the Future” report. The publication states that 50% of the global population is at risk of social conflict and violence due to unemployment from the recent recession, as well as pervasive threats such as lack of water, food, and energy resources. The report also cites the cumulative effects of climate change and poor environmental and economic conditions as contributing, problematic issues.
Major Findings of the Report include:
- There have been drastic increases in ocean acidity due to absorption of CO2. The oceans are warming at a rate nearly 50% faster than expected in the 2007 IPCC reports. The amount of marine dead zones has doubled each decade since for the past 50 years. Some 13 million hectares of primary forest are lost globally each year.
- By 2030 the global demand for energy will nearly double, mostly due to development in China and India. Fossil fuels are expected to still be required for about 80% of energy by 2030.
- The current global population is 6.8 billion, and is expected to grow to 9.2 billion by the year 2050.
- At least 700 million people face water shortages and this number could grow to 3 billion by 2025