Scientific American: The New Geopolitics
Each era has its own dominating themes of global politics. The 19th century had the politics of industrialization and empire. The first half of the 20th century bowed to world wars and economic depression. The second half was overshadowed by the cold war. Our era, I believe, will be dominated by the geopolitics of sustainability.
With that increase in economic output have come some phenomenal benefits, such as rising life expectancy and improved overall public health, and some planet-threatening adverse effects, such as massive tropical deforestation, ocean fisheries depletion, man-made climate change, violent competition over limited hydrocarbon resources, and newly emerging diseases such as SARS and avian flu (H5N1). Until now, the favorable outcomes have outweighed the bad.