Despite some bright spots, the outlook for the global environment in the next generation is largely bleak, according to a report published yesterday by the U.N. Environment Programme. The report is the work of more than 1,000 authors and attempts to provide a comprehensive overview of how the environment has changed since UNEP was established in 1972 — as well as look at trends for the next 30 years. The good news: some improvements in water and air quality in Europe and North America, impressive success on halting damage to the ozone layer, and more wild areas set aside for protection. The bad news: Within 30 years, more than half the world’s population could be living with severe water shortages and more than 70 percent of the surface of the Earth could be marked by development.