EnvironmentalTrends was founded to illuminate the nature and causes of environmental conditions in the U.S. and around the world, and to highlight lessons that can be learned from the significant environmental progress that has occurred in many areas. The media and advocacy groups tend to overlook environmental successes, and as a result policy makers do not perceive what has and hasn’t worked, and where our priorities should be adjusted.
There exist two difficulties with judging environmental conditions and trends. First, there is a lack of consistent high quality data for many environmental problems. Second, even where there is very high quality data, such as with air pollution in the United States, there remain many controversies about how the data and trends should be interpreted. These difficulties hamper our ability to draw firm conclusions in some areas of environmental concern, and these gaps contribute to policy confusion.
Because data for many kinds of problems is hard to come by, conclusive knowledge of complicated ecosystems will remain elusive. Our view is that access to more data and analysis will help us gradually improve our understanding of the dynamics of environmental change.
EnvironmentalTrends is a web-based almanac of current trend information and analysis that offers insight into a range of core environmental indicators including: climate change, air quality, water quality, energy, lands and forests, wildlife and biodiversity, and toxic chemicals. As part of Pacific Research Intitute’s iThinkTank strategy, this site allows users the unique ability to research environmental topics they wish to further explore.
The information is presented in several different formats, including statistically, analytically, and graphically, and often supplemented with brief explanations of the story behind the data. Data is gathered from a variety of different leading environmental resources and updated as new research arises.
This site is committed to the belief that data should be factual rather than media-driven, in order to promote informed and responsible decision-making by both individuals and policy-makers. Our goal is to illuminate key environmental issue areas and to make complex environmental trends readily accessible and consumable to the average reader.