What are the effective ways of preventing the further destruction of our environment? Of our planet as a whole?
The only effective way to prevent further environmental degradation is to stop the practices that are damaging. Reducing oil consumption is a start, for example -- if products are manufactured in a "green" way, and if the products themselves are green, then the damage and stress on resources will be minimal. In order to accomplish this, however, consumers must be willing to pay for the added costs of green technology. One successful example is the Prius, which people are willing to purchase despite its higher cost because of its minimal use of gasoline, which makes it "green" acceptable.
At least in the area of transportation, the next few years should show some improved technology that will lessen the damand for gasoline for transport.