All over the Earth, and especially in the most impoverished lands, sources of freshwater are diminishing, forests are being destroyed, soil is eroding, and deserts are spreading. The land, air, and water are being poisoned, and species are disappearing at an alarming rate. Patterns of excessive consumption and the pressure of increasing human numbers are making these problems even worse in many areas. The news is not all bad: for example, there has been some reforestation of areas in the eastern United States previously ravaged by bad agricultural practice, some municipal recycling programs are having success, industrial polluters are beginning to acknowledge that good business practice is not opposed to sound environmental policy, the quality of water and air in various places is improving, and there is an emergent ecological sensitivity in many lands.