The magnitude and rapidity of global environmental degradation threatens the perpetuation of life on Earth. Yet our understanding of biospheric change may not be sophisticated enough to adopt the long-term management strategies necessary to put modern civilization on a sustainable basis. Global Ecology evaluates the current state of knowledge concerning biospheric change, recognising the limits of scientific studies and quantitative modelling, and analysing the weaknesses and uncertainties of our environmental understanding. A critical assessment of existential needs, this discusses the levels of food, energy, water and materials necessary to support a decent quality of life. Global Ecology juxtaposes the encouraging potential for effective solutions with the numerous environmental, technical and social obstacles that limit and counteract efforts to improve our management of natural resources and reduce environmental degradation. With a strong plea to preserve flexibility of adaptive actions in managing the transition to a more sustainable society, the author leads the reader to a greater understanding of our ability to manage the effects of biospheric change.