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World News: The 'ecological foundations of society' are in peril, a massive UN report warns March 14,2019   |  Source: CNN

Human activities are degrading the global environment at a pace that could endanger the "ecological foundations of society" and human health, according to a landmark United Nations report released Wednesday. The authors say that with unprecedented action on a global scale -- including drastically cutting carbon emissions, improving water management and reducing pollution -- humans can achieve a future with less poverty and hunger while preserving the environment.

But our window for action is closing fast. If we continue business as usual, the authors warn, we can expect:

- Millions of premature deaths caused by air pollution across large swaths of Asia, the Middle East and Africa by the middle of this century.
- The continuation of a major species extinction event, impairing Earth's capacity to meet human food and resource needs.
- Freshwater pollutants making antimicrobial-resistant infections a major cause of death by 2050.

The 700-plus page report is the sixth Global Environment Outlook and is the UN's most comprehensive report on the state of the global environment since the fifth edition in 2012. More than 250 scientists and experts from more than 70 countries contributed to the assessment.

The picture is not all doom and gloom: The authors stress that we

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