Present and future
While histories do not often concern themselves with the future, it is appropriate for a world environmental history to look at the trends active in the present that are likely to persist into the future and will continue to affect the worldwide picture. Some of these were discussed in Chapter 8. In this introduction, I will comment briefl y on three kinds of change that are particularly salient and which promise to shape the future in positive and negative ways. These are high technology, including space technology; the world market economy in relation to natural capital; and the reduction of biological diversity.