I sometimes wonder what planet this country of ours is on. The environmental debate we are having seems to be in a parallel universe to the rest of the world. Having spent the last four years running one of Europe's biggest environmental research laboratories, the Lancaster Environment Centre, I find Australia strangely out of kilter. All I hear here is apocalyptic gloom and doom: either the planet is done for if we don't act, or the economy is done for if we do! We have a highly polarised debate and even more polarised reporting; with too much hand-wringing and head-banging but too little rational discussion or consultation about what actually to do. Doing nothing isn't an option.