"Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course . Many of our current practices put at serious risk the future for human society and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner we know. Fundamental changes are urgent . No more than one or a few years remain before the chance to aver the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished." *1
For millions of years, the earth has maintained a life-supporting biosphere in which all organisms coexist. Life is created and shaped by other life forms, in a continuous, interlocking pattern that all creatures rely on for survival. Even the smallest organisms have their place in the great scheme of things, which top carnivores need to stay alive. Human interference, such as pollution, has devastated the world's natural balance to a point such that, "The fate of every ecosystem on the planet is now determined by human activity." *2 With the failure of the Biosphere Project (which was intended to prove that we have learned enough about the world to recreate it) powerful evidence was provided to show us how little we actually understand the natural systems that sustain us.
The world today is facing two basic environmental problems overpopulation and overconsumption.