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Environment

Greenhouse effect
Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are rising rapidly, mainly because of human activity. Less than 200 years since we began making major emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations are rising to levels higher than any yet seen while humans have existed on this planet.—Information Unit on Climate Change, via Greenpeace International

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Capital punishment
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Changes in greenhouse gas concentrations have been associated with dramatic climate changes in the past. The last time greenhouse gas levels changed as much as they are changing now was when the earth emerged from the most recent ice age.—Information Unit on Climate Change, via Greenpeace International

Assuming that no action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, computer models of the earth's climate indicate that global average surface temperatures will rise by 1.5 - 4.5 C over the next 100 years. The rise is larger and probably faster than any such change over the past 9,000 years.—Information Unit on Climate Change, via Greenpeace International


Ozone layer

The industrialized world has severely damaged the ozone layer, which protects all life from the deadly ultraviolet rays of the sun, by pumping tens of millions of tons of ozone destroying substances into the atmosphere.—Greenpeace International

The EPA estimates that tightening ozone (smog) and fine particle air (soot) standards would result in 9,000 fewer hospital admissions, 250,000 fewer cases of respiratory problems, 60,000 fewer cases of bronchitis and save tens of thousands of lives each year.—Greenpeace International

For every dollar the U.S. spent on pollution protections since 1970, it have gained $45 in health and environmental benefits.—Greenpeace International

The biggest air polluters, led by General Motors, Mobil Oil, and American Electric Power, to name a few, have contributed more than $30 million to congressional campaigns to convince Congress and the Clinton Administration that the U.S. should maintain current clean air standards.—20/20 Vision


Forests

Although forests comprise only 30 percent of the global land area, forests are home to the majority of the earth's species.--Greenpeace International

In Brazil an acre of rain forest is destroyed every nine seconds.—Greenpeace International

In Canada an acre of ancient rain forests is clearcut every 12 seconds.—Greenpeace International

Worldwide 76 percent of the planet's original primary forests have been destroyed or degraded.—Greenpeace International

Between 40,000 and 60,000 types of forest-dependent plant, animal, and insect species are becoming extinct annually.—Greenpeace International


Oceans

Seven out of ten (69 percent) of the oceans' commercially targeted marine fish stocks are fished beyond ecological safe limits.—Greenpeace International

Overfishing in the North Sea now threatens the entire marine ecosystem. Several fish species, including cod, herring, hake, and mackerel are at risk of stock collapse.—Greenpeace International

One-quarter of the planet's biological diversity is in danger of extinction within the next 30
years. In the ocean environment, commercial fishing stands as one of the greatest biodiversity threats.—Greenpeace International


Biodiversity

As human activities, consumption, and population continue to increase, it is expected that half of the earth's species are likely to disappear within the next 75 years. Wild species play a vital role in maintaining the earth's ecological functions—the air we breathe and the water we drink.—Greenpeace International

The most important causes in the current loss of biodiversity are the destruction and alteration of habitats. The United Nation reports 80 percent of species decline as a result of habitat destruction.—Greenpeace International

More resources

Greenpeace International: Features up-to-date information on Greenpeace's many campaigns around the world including toxins, nuclear power and weapons, atmosphere, marine and biodiversity.

Better World 'Zine: Features articles for the ecologically-minded reader, from how the world works, to the effects of human interaction on the environment.

The Earth Foundation: This page encourages students and educators to work toward a healthier environment--with focus on education, fundraising for conservation, and cooperative programs with conservation groups.

The Earth Times: Updated daily, this international nonpartisan newspaper focuses on the environment and such concerns as conflict-resolution governance, human-rights, trade, and women's and children's rights.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency: The Web sites reflects the agency's mission to protect public health and to safeguard and improve the nation's natural environment. It covers U.S. policy concerning national resources, energy and agriculture.

20/20 Vision: Focusing on environmental and peace issues, this site is action oriented and users are encouraged to respond to their senators' and representatives' votes (listed by district) regarding an array of ecological issues.

Earth Vision: A global site comprised of those who share a desire to shape a more ecologically responsible world.