Global Pollution

December 1, 1971

Report Outline
Worldwide Scope of Pollution Ills
Special Problems of Poor Countries
Movement for International Action

Worldwide Scope of Pollution Ills

Coming U.N. Conference on Environment Ills

The world is awakening to a sense of crisis about the state of the environment. Dozens of countries, including the United States, have taken steps to control pollution. Scores of national and international meetings have examined in detail the deterioration of the environment. International agencies, ranging from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East, from the Organization of American States to the World Bank, have instituted environmental programs. “The environment,” remarks Barry Commoner, one of America's leading ecologists, “has just been rediscovered by the people who live in it.”

The rediscovery will culminate next year in “one of the boldest adventures in international cooperation ever attempted”—the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. In Stockholm, Sweden, for 12 days from June 5 to 16, representatives of some 131 countries and dozens of international organizations will gather to map a worldwide assault on the problems of pollution and depletion of the Earth's resources.

It will be an unprecedented and, in many ways, a very difficult conference. Developing nations are suspicious that concern about pollution may hinder efforts to promote economic growth. And noticeably missing from the agenda is any discussion of the mounting burden of world population growth. From the conference may come some mechanism to monitor what is happening to the Earth's environment, and some means to coordinate anti-pollution efforts both within and outside the U.N. To many officials, the conference represents a first step in the direction of rescuing the world from pollution. It is, at any rate, solid evidence that the environmental movement is not—as was once predicted—a passing fad.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Environmental Protection
Mar. 17, 2023  Forever Chemicals
Sep. 02, 2022  Preserving the Seas
Jun. 17, 2022  Plastic Pollution
Dec. 17, 2021  Endangered Species
Nov. 06, 2020  Preventing Wildfires
Jul. 10, 2020  Circular Economy
Nov. 29, 2019  Climate Change and Health
Sep. 20, 2019  Extreme Weather
Dec. 07, 2018  Plastic Pollution
Dec. 02, 2016  Arctic Development
Apr. 22, 2016  Managing Western Lands
Jul. 18, 2014  Regulating Toxic Chemicals
Sep. 20, 2013  Future of the Arctic
Jun. 14, 2013  Climate Change
Nov. 06, 2012  Vanishing Biodiversity
Nov. 02, 2012  Managing Wildfires
Nov. 04, 2011  Managing Public Lands
Aug. 26, 2011  Gulf Coast Restoration
Jul. 2010  Plastic Pollution
Feb. 2010  Climate Change
Jan. 09, 2009  Confronting Warming
Dec. 05, 2008  Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Nov. 2008  Carbon Trading
Oct. 03, 2008  Protecting Wetlands
Feb. 29, 2008  Buying Green
Dec. 14, 2007  Future of Recycling
Nov. 30, 2007  Disappearing Species
Feb. 2007  Curbing Climate Change
Dec. 01, 2006  The New Environmentalism
Jan. 27, 2006  Climate Change
Oct. 25, 2002  Bush and the Environment
Oct. 05, 2001  Invasive Species
Nov. 05, 1999  Saving Open Spaces
Jun. 11, 1999  Saving the Rain Forests
May 21, 1999  Setting Environmental Priorities
Mar. 19, 1999  Partisan Politics
Oct. 16, 1998  National Forests
Jun. 19, 1998  Environmental Justice
Aug. 23, 1996  Cleaning Up Hazardous Wastes
Mar. 31, 1995  Environmental Movement at 25
Jun. 19, 1992  Lead Poisoning
May 15, 1992  Jobs Vs. Environment
Jan. 17, 1992  Oil Spills
Sep. 20, 1991  Saving the Forests
Apr. 26, 1991  Electromagnetic Fields: Are They Dangerous?
Sep. 08, 1989  Free Market Environmental Protection
Dec. 09, 1988  Setting Environmental Priorities
Jul. 29, 1988  Living with Hazardous Wastes
Dec. 20, 1985  Requiem for Rain Forests?
Aug. 17, 1984  Protecting the Wilderness
Jun. 15, 1984  Troubled Ocean Fisheries
Aug. 19, 1983  America's Disappearing Wetlands
Feb. 22, 1980  Noise Control
Nov. 16, 1979  Closing the Environmental Decade
Oct. 13, 1978  Toxic Substance Control
Feb. 27, 1976  Pollution Control: Costs and Benefits
Nov. 28, 1975  Forest Policy
May 30, 1975  Wilderness Preservation
Dec. 20, 1974  Environmental Policy
Nov. 14, 1973  Strip Mining
Dec. 01, 1971  Global Pollution
Jul. 21, 1971  Protection of the Countryside
Jan. 06, 1971  Pollution Technology
Jun. 19, 1968  Protection of the Environment
Oct. 30, 1963  Noise Suppression
Air Pollution
International Law and Agreements
Water Pollution