We live in a time of unprecedented change in the natural world. Ecologists tell us that we are currently experiencing the sixth mass extinction in the world’s history, but with one key exception: the current crisis differs from the previous five in that it is human-induced. Acid rain, soil erosion, global warming, suburbanization, and over- or conspicuous consumption are just a few of the problems facing us at the turn of the millennium. It would not be difficult to add many other items to this list, but it is beyond the scope of this paper to address the actual manifestations of ecological degradation in any detail, or for that matter even attempt to evaluate the veracity of these facts. Rather, this paper is premised on the belief that while there may be some discrepancies, or even distortions, in the way scientific research is used and presented, mankind’s current modus operandi is having a deleterious effect on the natural world. The earth’s stocks of resources, natural capital (genetic, hydrologic, atmospheric), are being consumed or over-burdened faster than they can replenish.