The current blind faith in technology will not save us. For the planet to stand any chance, the global economy must be redesigned. The problem is more fundamental than capitalism or the emphasis on growth: it is money itself, and how money is related to technology.
Synthetic biology offers grand new possibilities to “process information, manipulate chemicals, fabricate materials and structures, produce energy, provide food, and maintain and enhance human health” according to Wikipedia. But the supposed benefits cannot sensibly be weighed against the catastrophic systemic risks which are inherent in its use.
In 2015 it shouldn’t be a radical notion to want to move beyond colonialism and make sure farmers can keep control of the resources needed to grow food to feed their communities.
The discovery of new lands to exploit, and new energy sources, helped reinforce the notion that human societies can always find a way around limitations upon its growth.