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Planet Earth 2020: The Executive Summary

A concise and comprehensive overview of the state of the planet and humanity.

Earth's ecological and human systems are in a state of severe crisis. Although there is a wealth of information available about the state of the planet, much of it is fragmented or presented with agenda. The convergence of issues facing the earth are so interrelated that most of them cannot be fully understood out of context.

"Earth: A Graphic Look at the State of the World", first published in 2005 as a printed wall chart, has been completely updated and expanded, pulling together critical information, rigorously referenced to reliable sources, and covering the most important issues into a single, educational power-tool.


All updated data is available on this website, and as a 150 page Presentation.

The Earth 2020 Presentation is a hi-res PDF ready for download; to use as a carefully sequenced slide show, a booklet, or a set of individual handouts. All charts, maps and text on this website are included in the Presentation.

View the Information in Each Section

Global Ecology

Population, pollution, greenhouse gases and deforestation are creating never before seen changes in Earth's living systems—including a cultural and species extinction rate that is the highest in the planet's history.

Fossil Fuel

Industrialized civilization is dependent upon cheap and reliable fossil fuel energy. This section includes a look at production, consumption, remaining known resources and the global carbon budget.

Fresh Water

Only 2.5% of the world's water is fresh—the water on which the world's terrestrial life depends—and around 70% of fresh water is frozen in ice and permafrost.

Development & Debt

How onerous are the debt burdens of poorer countries? Is loan based development effective? Are multilateral financial institutions (IMF and World Bank) helping or hindering sustainable development? Are poor countries catching up to rich ones? A succinct series of graphs, and an overview of the UN's Human Development ranking helps answer these questions.


A global overview of the biggest military spenders and budgets, nuclear arsenals, depleted uranium, and national arms exports—which countries produce and sell most of the world's weapons.

Life Expectancy & Disease

Clear, factual information on life expectancy, disease and world causes of death.

Fishing & Aquaculture

A look at the concentration of the world's capture fisheries and aquaculture, which regions consume the most fish, how fish is used, what areas countries claim as Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), and how heavily the world's fish stocks are being exploited.

Agriculture & Food

Agricultural and food production techniques have changed dramatically in the past 100 years as increasing population and consumption put pressure on the world's food supply. This section covers the effects of agriculture on the planet's soil; the environmental impact of food production; the expansion and spread of synthetic fertilizers; global food distribution and nutrition; and food waste. (For information on biotech food crops, see the Toxics & Biotechnology section.)

Toxics & Biotechnology

A look at toxic chemical use (including Glyphosate, PCBs, DDT, dioxin, PBDE, lead, and mercury); safety testing; groundwater contamination; air pollution; the increase in biotechnology and pesticides in agriculture; nuclear toxicity.

Wealth & Inequality

Over the past decades, wealth has become more concentrated worldwide, and the gap between rich and poor continues to widen. This section includes a comparison between the world's biggest trans-national corporations and the most powerful countries; the trends and distribution of wealth between countries and within countries; and a look at income inequality in the US. Also included are prison incarceration rates in the US and the developed world, and statistics by race on the risks and use of police force in the US.


Historical and contemporary look at plastics—production, use, waste management and mis-management.


Historical and contemporary overview of greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric concentrations—which countries emit the most CO2, total and per capita; methane; ocean warming and sea level rise; global temperature projections; glacier and ice loss.



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A 150 page high-resolution PDF containing all maps, charts and data on EARTH website; use as an information-packed educational slide show, printed booklet or a set of single-page handouts.

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