Cars promise mobility, and in a largely rural setting they provide it. But in an urbanising world, where more than half of us live in cities, there is an inherent conflict between the automobile and the city.
The past two years have witnessed the emergence of a powerful movement opposing the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the United States.
Our early twenty-first century civilisation is being squeezed between advancing deserts and rising seas.
In early 2008, Saudi Arabia announced that, after being self-sufficient in wheat for over 20 years, the non-replenishable aquifer it had been pumping for irrigation was largely depleted.
Protecting the earth's nearly 4 billion hectares of remaining forests and replanting those already lost are both essential for restoring the earth's health, an important foundation for the new economy.
Some 43 countries around the world now have populations that are either essentially stable or declining slowly.