In this fourteenth edition of State of the World, Lester R. Brown and the research team at Worldwatch take a realistic look at our progress toward sustainable development since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. They find that some gains have been made in sustainability planning and in implementing the international convention to protect the stratospheric ozone layer, but that on balance the planet's broad trends of environmental and resource degradation persist. They describe the contracting base of grainland and climate change's threat to disrupt the ecological foundations of our global economy. They cite vividly, in the cases of Chiapas and Rwanda, why pervasive resource loss is at the root of the "new world disorder." State of the World 1997 argues that if these trends continue unabated, the pressure on the earth's natural limits will undermine food security - now already evident in the decline of marine fisheries and the shrinking grain harvest per person. Indeed, food scarcity may be the first major economic manifestation of our environmentally unsustainable global economy. To reverse this situation, State of the World 1997 calls for us to take urgent measures to build an environmentally sustainable economy, slow population growth, value the nonmonetary services nature provides, adopt the best of simpler and less consumptive lifestyles, and abandon tax-payer subsidies that encourage the consumption of natural resources such as water and fossil fuels.