July 19, 2008
The World’s Lost Environmental Causes
A few of what were once considered imminent environmental catastrophes now seem like memories from a bygone era. Whether the problem is solved, the public loses interest, or there was never really much to fear, environmental causes can sometimes simply fade away. Foreign Policy identifies five of the world's lost environmental causes:
- The Ozone Hole: Since the 1987 signing of the Montreal Protocol, the ozone hole has stopped widening and might even be shrinking.
- Acid Rain: The now ubiquitous use of catalytic converters in cars and the switch to cleaner forms of coal and natural gas have helped bring down acidity levels throughout Europe and North America.
- Save the Whales: Humpback and blue whales are recovering. Other species have not fared as well.
- Bald Eagle Extinction: Down to only 417 breeding pairs by 1963, thanks to the DDT ban and protection of their habitat, the bald eagle was taken off the endangered species list in 2007.
- Genetically Modified Food: The current food crisis in the developing world has resulted in more countries growing GM crops than in the developed world.
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