SOURCE: Washington Post

DATE: May 23, 2016

AUTHOR: Chris Mooney

SNIP: In a sweeping synthesis of global data, the United Nations Environment Programme has intensively catalogued environmental assaults across the six different major regions of the globe. And it finds that, overall, damage to the planet is happening more rapidly than before, through slights ranging from air pollution, to the proliferation of human and toxic waste, to water scarcity and climate change.

“The world shares a host of common environmental threats that are rapidly intensifying in many parts of the world,” said a UNEP news release accompanying the report’s release.

The root causes, McGlade said, basically boil down to two major systemic occurrences with multiple ramifying consequences: a changing climate and an intense trend toward greater urbanization. The warming of the planet threatens ecosystems and the humans who depend on them for food, water and services, even as the push into expanding cities clusters people in more closely, creating water shortages, waste disposal problems, more deleterious contacts with wildlife and more.