The Stress Nexus

In the decades ahead, as the world’s population continues to grow, the middle class continues to expand, and more people choose to live in ever-larger cities, the stresses on global energy, water, and food systems will become critical. Yet, around the world, little has been done to address the coming stresses in a comprehensive way.

LONDON – Every day, the number of people inhabiting our planet grows by more than 210,000. That adds up to 1.5 million more people each and every week, adding to the demands on our vital resources.

At the same time, the world is becoming more prosperous, improving the quality of life almost everywhere. Over the past few decades, an estimated two billion people have risen into the middle class worldwide. That is a remarkable achievement.

But this ongoing global rise in prosperity also generates stresses that threaten to undermine prosperity. Call this the “prosperity paradox.”

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