Vital Signs 1997

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VITAL SIGNS, WORLDWATCH INSTITUTE
Written by the Institute's award-winning research team, the sixth volume in the series lets readers track key indicators that show social, economic and environmental progress, or lack of it. This authoritative data has been distilled form thousands of documents obtained from government, industry, scientists, and international organizations into forty-five vital signs of our times.
Among the findings in the 1997 edition:
• Half the languages in the world are likely to become extinct in the coming century.
• By 2020, deaths from non-communicable diseases will outnumber those from communicable diseases by five to one.
• Financial losses from weather-related disasters hit a record $60 billion last year.
• Despite a record grain harvest in 1996, carryover stocks are still too low for comfort after having been drawn down from 104 days to 51 days from 1987 to 1996.