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In the State of the World 2001, the Institute's award-winning research team takes a fresh look at the most difficult challenge the world faces: how to build an environmentally sustainable economy before we do permanent damage to the natural systems that support our global civilization.From the thinning of the Arctic sea ice to the invasion of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, State of the World 2001 shows how the economic boom of the last decade has damaged natural systems. The increasingly visible evidence of environmental deterioration is only the tip of a much more dangerous problem: the growing inequities in wealth and income between countries and within countries, inequities that will generate enormous social unrest and pressure for change. The authors argue that to solve the earth's environmental problems, we must simultaneously address the problems of the world's poor peoples. State of the World 2001 demonstrates that there are ways to move rapidly to improve the environment and meet the material needs of all 6 billion members of the human family. More than 10 million people have already benefited from small loans from micro-credit programs like those pioneered by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and BancoSol in Bolivia. And farmers in developing countries are converting to organic agriculture to grow organic foods to export to industrial countries.