We are using the planet's fossil fuel resources in a time which is very short compared to that of human evolution. In the same process we are changing the planet's climate and sea level, threatening the future of large segments of the global population. The presentation will try to review the present situation. Avoiding future catastrophy would require immediate, substantial and globally collaborative changes in the behaviour of our society, which might be possible, but represent a formidable social challenge. I will end with a discussion of the possibility for the production of the dominant part of the global electric power using thermal solar technology with overnight storage.