From the start of the Industrial Revolution more than 200 years ago, developed nations have achieved ever greater prosperity and higher living standards. But through this period our activities have come to affect our atmosphere, oceans, geology, chemistry and biodiversity. What is now plain is that the emission of greenhouse gases, associated with industrialisation and strong economic growth from a world population that has increased sixfold in 200 years, is causing global warming at a rate that began as significant, has become alarming and is simply unsustainable in the long term. And by long-term I do not mean centuries ahead. I mean within the lifetime of my children certainly; and possibly within my own. And by unsustainable, I do not mean a phenomenon causing problems of adjustment. I mean a challenge so far-reaching in its impact and irreversible in its destructive power that it alters radically human existence.
About Time: Speed, Society, People and the Environment Where does all the time go? Despite the burgeoning army of machines designed to save time - from cars and aeroplanes to dishwashers and microwaves - we don't seem to have any more of it on our hands. We simply fill the space we clear with more things to do - consuming more, spending more - and then look around for new ways of saving time. Being busy has become a habit - a habit that gives us high status - busy people are important people. About Time, edited by the think-tank Forum for the Future, brings together ten of the world's leading thinkers and writers, including Will Hutton, Baroness Mary Warnock, Sir Martin Rees, Ghillean Prance, Jay Griffiths (the author of the bestselling Pip Pip) and Jonathon Porritt in a collection of intriguing essays exploring the issue of time and how it relates to the environment, economy and society.