There is a basic mismatch between people's primitive, limited and distorted capacity to perceive what is happening in their immediate environment in comparison with the urgent need to find ways of directing and controlling the tumultuous changes which scientific and technological ingenuity has enabled them to initiate. The relatively recent, and rapid, cultural evolution involving intellectual, social and political innovation, has enabled people to plunder an environment whose resources have been generated over millions of years. This has made the much slower processes of biological evolution completely inadequate as a means through which humans can adapt appropriately to their environment. As a consequence there is an almost universal tendency to focus on the more immediate short-term problems which can be effectively grasped, articulated, communicated and acted upon. Those problems requiring sensitivity to, and detection or analysis of, an underlying long-term trend or one involving distant factors, are avoided, often deliberately from political or economic expedience.