The real root of the matter why we need so much power and things to consume..to many people, just to many people for this world to sustain in a liveable manner. Till we stop that,we will not stop environmental degregation. This here that there.....no stopping it.
I think the planet is overpopulated, yes, but that doesn't mean we can't reduce our consumption and energy usage.
The problem however is capitalism which demands economic growth. In democratic countries if a politician comes out and suggests rapid de-industrialization coupled with mass reduction in infrastructure, power usage and so on, he'll be run out of office even though this is what the planet actually needs.
Especially in North America if cities were properly designed. Instead of having vast swaths of land turned into suburbia, all of which require a lot of energy and resources to build, upkeep and operate. We need compact cities where not everyone needs to own a car and a set of lawn care tools.
Nobody is willing to sacrifice. That's the problem. We hear about "sustainable development". Japan needs to reduce energy consumption if it is going to drop nuclear energy, but those millions of vending machines keep rolling and neon lights continue to blaze.
The planet is going to be driven into being a toxic hell hole before genuine sacrifice is made. I'm not optimistic. We're all going to end up living in the same toxic environment. Rich or poor. 1st or 3rd world.