In the last 200 years we have caused more damage and destruction on this planet than in the previous 7 thousand years. Countless species of animals and insects becoming extinct, thousands of species last year alone, and millions of hectors of rain-forests. If we continue at the present rate of destruction / consumption, the years 2100 and beyond look very bleak indeed. Even if we take the very optimistic view that the world population will stabilize at 12 billion within the next 100 years.
The USA with under 300 million inhabitants out of a total of 6 billion, (about 5% presently), consumes 75% of the total annual world produce and energy and produces 20% of the world pollutants. This is 1/20 of the world population consuming 3/4 of the world output and producing 1/5 of the pollution. Developing countries in Asia such as China and Indonesia feel they have an equal right as humans, to live in the same manner as persons in the USA and are working very hard to achieve this goal. Within 20 years, India, Latin America, Eastern European, and African countries will no doubt follow them.
It will not be possible for our planet to sustain such a demand on its natural resources, without a major change in focus by the scientific community with sufficient financial resources and motivation. To find the right technical solutions to these problems, the solutions must be free from any commercial considerations. Our very survival and that of millions of fellow inhabitants on this planet are at stake. What is needed is proper guidance of focused research with an irresistible push by institutions such as the "University Exchange" and others to help this situation.
Every day is precious and must not be wasted.