Since the dawn of time, we, humans have always been depending in some way or the other on the Earth's resources and the saga is still going on but to keep it ongoing for our future generations remains a challenge. Yet each community, each country strives for survival and prosperity with little regard for its impact on others. Some consume the Earth's resources at such a rate that it would leave little for future generations or worse there might not be left at all. Consequently others, many more in number, consume far too little and live with the prospect of hunger, disease and premature death.
Yet progress has been made. Throughout much of the world, children born today can expect to live longer and be better educated than their parents. In many parts, the new-born can also expect a higher standard of living in a wider sense.
Such progress provides hope as we contemplate the improvements still needed, and also, as we face our failures to make this Earth a safer and sounder home for us and for those who are to come.
The failures that we need to correct arise both form poverty and from the short-sighted way in which we have often pursued prosperity. Poor people are forced to overuse environmental resources to survive form day to day, and impoverishment of their environment further impoverishes them, making their survival ever more difficult and uncertain. The prosperity obtained in some parts of the World is often precarious , as it has been secured through farming ,forestry and industrial practices that bring profit and progress only over the short term.
Societies have faced such pressures in the past and, as many desolate ruins remind...