With almost eight billion people spread around the globe, humanity's effects on the planet are more burdensome than ever.

Our cars and power plants fill the air with greenhouse gases which are driving fundamental climate shifts and weather changes. We are building cities in deserts and rerouting rivers to supply the water. Our need for resources is driving deforestation in remote and previously pristine reaches of the planet. And waste management is a compounding problem.

That isn't to say humans should not pursue personal transportation or immense construction projects, but the need to do so with an ecological purpose is key to our livelihoods, as well as those of future generations.

Who is tasked with ensuring humans get what they've come to expect, and provide it in a sustainable, efficient way?

Engineers, of course. And here are the technologies they are working on to provide that better future.

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