The Best of Environment 2000 (Asia Edition)

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1. GASOLINE GRIDLOCK Yes, the high price and tight supply of petrol brought misery to millions of drivers, like these poor souls in Manchester, England. But what's bad for car owners is good for nature. Like the 1970s oil shocks, this year's turmoil will spur production—and sales—of cars that use less gasoline. That will mean a cleaner planet and better odds against global warming.

2. GREEN GAMES Sydney's Olympic organizers set out to make their Games the greenest ever—by utilizing solar power, mass transportation and recycling. Hard-to-please conservationists complained that officials themselves still buzzed around in gasoline-powered cars, among other sins, but Sydney deserves some credit for shining the Olympic torch on the environmental cause.

3. GUARDIAN-IN-CHIEF This year alone U.S. President Bill Clinton protected the wilderness by establishing or expanding 10 national monuments, decreeing that no roads would be built in 23.5 million hectares of public forest and setting up the largest U.S. nature preserve, an underwater paradise off Hawaii. If George Bush wins the election, he could reverse some of these actions, but with a weak mandate, he may not dare to do so.