Ecological and economic arguments aside, Goodall’s suggestion that the UK may have reached the point of maximum resource use throws up lots of interesting questions. Most fundamentally: is it definitely true? How can we be sure that consumption won’t soar to new, even greater, highs when the global economy eventually picks up? And if we really have reached a peak, how did we get there? Was it just a matter of shifting to a more service-based economy? Can the Internet – or even decades of green campaigning – claim the credit? Or could it be that our densely packed little island is running out of space for new buildings, vehicles and bulky goods? Could eBay [an online auction and shopping website] and Freecycle [a network that diverts reusable items from landfills] be a factor, helping to keep more goods in circulation for longer? Or the fact that more of us are living in cities?