Matters of Scale - Earth Day, Thirty Years Later

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Debt of all developing countries in 1971
$277 billion
Amount of money required to service the $2,171 billion debt of all developing countries in 1997
$269 billion
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Number of "media conglomerates" that dominated U.S. mass media - including newspapers, books, magazines, film, radio, television, and recorded music - in the 1970s
50
Number today
10
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Estimated share of war-related deaths that were civilian in 1970
60 percent
Estimated share of war-related deaths that were civilian in 1990
90 percent
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Renewable energy as share of U.S. consumption in 1972
8.4 percent
Renewable energy as share of U.S. consumption in 1997
7.6 percent
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Number of prison inmates in the United States in 1970
200000
Number of inmates expected to be reached this year
2000000
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Number of farmers in the United States in 1974
1400000
Number of farmers in the United States in 1997
900000
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Sources: Lester Brown et. Al, Vital Signs 1999 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999); Robert McChesney, Rich Media, Poor Democracy (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999); Michael Renner, Fighting for Survival (New York: Norton & Company, 1996); Jay Hakes, "25th Anniversary of the 1973 Oil Embargo," U.S. Department of Energy Report; Michael Fletcher, "The Crime Conundrum," Washington Post, 16 January 2000; U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1997 Census of Agriculture, www.usda.nass.gov.