During the past few years, I have come to fear that the United Kingdom and China may be bookends on the most spectacular burst of development ever seen in human history. The carbon-fuelled, capital-driven model of economic growth, which started in my country 200-odd years ago, has spread across the planet and is now, I believe, reaching its apex here. We may well be blessed and cursed to be witnessing the era of “peak human” – at least in material terms. That is a huge and alarming prospect. It will require a complete readjustment of expectations. In future, I believe there will be greater tension globally between conservers and the exploiters. This may become the new dividing line in world politics. We are already seeing the rise of Green Parties, which are scoring record success (albeit often from a low base) in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada. I’ve come to see the environment not as a subject, but as a prism. That is important to stress. Mostly the environment is treated as a subcategory and posted away to a certain pages in newspapers and on the websites. But it should not be a niche interest, it should be mainstream. The ecology is the basis for the economy, not the other way around.