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“Ladies and gentlemen! This is your information officer speaking to you from the GEO Information Centre of Spaceship Planet Earth. As you know, there are no passengers on this spaceship. We are all, in a sense, pilots.”

“We all have an impact on our route and flight plan. This update is just to tell you that, from here, it looks like you’re all making a pretty poor job of it! I would like to wish you all a pleasant life-flight, but I’ve just checked out the computer projections and I have to tell you that, if you behave as recklessly as your parents, the good ship Planet Earth will crash sometime in the not too distant future!

This need not happen, of course, but all of you out there, especially those of you who are chewing up its surface and wasting its fuel, will have to choose a different flight plan – and do it pretty soon if this flight is going to have a happy ending. Thank you and choose your flight plan carefully.”
click picture to enlarge
Idir Kerkovehe, Algeria

That flight report, in brief, is the message of GEO. There are many signs that we are waking up to the need for a change of attitudes and practices towards the environment, but the sad truth is, it is not happening nearly fast enough! GEO defines three driving forces affecting our global environment – political and economic problems made worse by rapid population growth. Without the social, economic and political problems caused by humans, the global environment would probably be in much better shape.

If people suddenly disappeared from the Earth, the planet could recover and, within 1,000 years, it would look as it did 100,000 years ago. If insects disappeared, nothing on land would survive. Rafael Gonzalez Urdaneta, Mexico

Experts continuously improve ways to measure the state of our environment – and things like population growth that affect it. But the information does not get out to most of you. You get regular reports on the weather and stock markets, but you rarely hear news of world grain yields or species extinction rates. GEO fills this gap by bringing us the latest news, issue by issue. These issues are explored in the Our Earth section.
Our Future
explains what governments, other groups and individuals are doing about these issues.

web site editor: webmaster@grida.no Last update: March 2000