Through their increasing impact, people have been weighing decisively on the course of the spaceship Earth. The entry into a new geological era, the anthropocene, marks an unprecedented disruption in the long history of the co–evolution between our species and the biosphere. Our immediate task is to draw long–term development strategies, environmentally sound and socially inclusionary, at the opposite of strategies based on the free interplay of market forces. Thus, we must give, within each nation and between nations, the utmost priority to an aggiornamento of long–term democratic planning as the main instrument of governance. The success of the second Earth Summit, due to take place in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, will largely depend on the participants' ability to take inspiration from these principles.
Keywords: anthropocene era, mankind, biosphere, development planning, energy sources, energy uses, Rio Earth Summit, sustainable development, sustainability