As important as global economic and cultural forces may be, I see the push for distinctive identity and a sense of place ensuring that communities and nation states will maintain their power in a more globally interconnected world. Part of it is expressed in Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY) local politics that resists development by local or global forces. This desire for community control of local land uses is powerful and growing.
global economy Archives - State of the Planet
While I remain convinced that humans require live interaction and in person contact to be effective, a high proportion of communication is electronic and require few incremental resources to be undertaken. I am quite certain that we spend more time than ever communicating professionally and personally.
Using something finite and dumping it into a hole in the ground is less efficient and more costly than a system build on photosynthesis, renewable resources, and reuse of finite resources. In other words, an organization managed according to the principles of sustainability should be able to outcompete the organization sticking to the old, polluting 20th-century industrial model of management.
We continue to need resources that the earth provides and someday we may even mine other planets. But communities that rely on mining alone, or even depend on resource extraction as their primary source of revenue, are asking to be left behind in the modern global economy.