Engineering the future: Cautionary tale or utopia?

The idea that we might seek actively to determine – to engineer – our future might seem more 19th than 21st century. Today, popular visions of large-scale engineering are often overshadowed by negative views of the man-made world, from climate change to unsustainable growth to the unforeseen side effects of technology. Yet, countries like China and India appear to have a more positive attitude, with ambitious road and rail projects that reshape vast landscapes. Can we make a compelling case for engineering the future?

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