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Taking the 1992 Rio Summit as its point of departure, this book examines what we now need to know, and what we need to do, to live within sustainable limits. One of the key issues is how we use the environment: converting natural resources into human artifices, commodities and services. In the process of consuming, we can also create sinks. Today, these sinks - the empty back pocket in the global biogeographical system - are no longer empty. The fate of the global environment is indissolubly linked to our consumption: particularly in the energy profligate North.