question: what kind of services does nature produce?

Nature provides a myriad of services that humans are dependent upon for life. For example, wetlands purify water and streams, forests prevent and/or reduce floods by absorbing water, plants absorb CO2 which reduces harmful emissions and produce oxygen to breathe, worms transform waste into soil, pollinators provide us with food to eat, and natural sources …

question: how can the use of materials be reduced and what industries may benefit the most from the increased efficiency?

We currently live in a throw-away society – not enough is recycled and staggering amounts of waste are produced. While each segment of society contributes to this, industry is the biggest offender. For instance, steel, which is used more than all other metals combined, is essential to the automobile, household appliance and construction industries. Even …

question: why is the world still so dependent on fossil fuels?

There is no doubt about it - fossil fuels still reign supreme. Industry and consumers are still slaves to this non-renewable resource despite the fact that it pollutes our environment and results in an inequitable distribution of wealth that is concentrated in the hands of a select group of people not necessarily concerned with the …

question: how can transportation systems be redesigned to improve efficiency?

Too much of anything is a good thing.  Each concept and item has its own place and purpose.  The same can be said about transportation systems.  Currently, too much of the world’s transportation system is based upon cars and although they offer a great deal of mobility and independence - two qualities that many aspire …

question: what are the reasons to believe that current design of cities is not sustainable?

Cities require a concentration of food, water, energy, and materials that nature cannot provide. In turn, a multitude of resources from long distances are necessary in order to meet the needs of inhabitants. This requires non-renewable inputs for transport and puts pressures on other systems that are being utilized to meet the needs/desires of urban …

question: why might civilization be on the verge of collapse?

“Business as usual is no longer a viable option. Food security will deteriorate further unless leading countries collectively mobilize to stabilize population, stabilize climate, stabilize aquifers, conserve soils, protect cropland, and restrict the use of grain to produce fuel for cars.” - Lester Brown The end of the world is not necessarily upon us.  Our …