My view of moderate prosperity in the context of twenty-first century resource constraints arises from my own experiences: growing up in a poor developing country, working in Africa as a young engineer, and visiting many countries over the last twenty years to work on projects at the crossroads of poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

When I was working in the small Kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa, I lived in a very small housing estate. Many of the other residents were, for the first time in their lives, living in a “modern” house. Before, they had lived in traditional homesteads built from mud, stone, and thatch.

I was struck by how satisfied they were with something so ...

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