Most of the Earth's vital stats are "pronouncedly bad," according to a research institute that tracks 44 indicators of the world's health. Only six were positive. More wood was harvested this year than ever before, meat production and consumption hit record highs, people ate 156 million metric tons of seafood, and carbon emissions are burgeoning in China and India.
"Climate change is the most urgent challenge we have ever faced," said the head of the Vital Signs project at the Worldwatch Institute, who pointed out that "unsustainable consumption patterns" were responsible for climate change linked to carbon emissions and other ecological problems. One of the few positive trends was the increasing use of wind power.