From "State of the World," a 1991 Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society:

{D}ivergent views of the world are producing a certain global schizophrenia, a loss of contact with reality. The events of 1990 typify this unhealthy condition. The celebration of Earth Day 1990 symbolized the growing concern for the environmental health of the planet. Estimates indicate that at least 100 million people in 141 countries participated in events on Sunday, April 22. Soon after, at the Group of Seven economic summit in Houston, national leaders from Europe, reflecting the mounting concern with global warming, urged the United States to adopt a climate-sensitive energy policy.

A few weeks later, Iraq invaded Kuwait, unsettling oil markets. Almost overnight, concerns about energy shifted from the long-term climatic consequences of burning oil and other fossil fuels to a short-term preoccupation with prices at the local gasoline pump. More traditional views of energy security resurfaced, eclipsing, at least temporarily, the concern with fossil fuel use and rising global temperatures.

This schizophrenic perspective is translating into intense political conflict in economic policymaking. To the extent that constraints on economic expansion are discussed on the business pages, it is usually in terms of inadequate demand growth rather than supply-side constraints imposed by the Earth's natural systems and resources. In contrast, the ecological view, represented by the environmental public interest community, holds that continuing the single-minded pursuit of growth will eventually lead to economic collapse. Ecologists see the need to restructure economic systems so that progress can be sustained.