This short and clear presentation by Jason Lord entitled "visualising a systems approach" quickly gets to the subject of the planet as a closed system. To manage a closed system we have to know about it. In an RBE we want to manage the system for the benefit of society generally - that is we want to use the finite carrying capacity of the earth as efficiently as possible to sustain human life. This means the radical minimisation of waste.
To know what the carrying capacity of the earth is we have to collect data and take measurements, and this talk gives an important example of where this is already being done - namely NASA's Earth Observation System of satellites. The point is this is now, not in the future.
In the talk Jason also explained how using data gathered from this site in a super computer, they ran a weather model that predicted the planetary weather for 20 days with very good accuracy.