Opinion: Thomas L. Friedman (From nytimes.com): “You really do have to wonder whether a few years from now we’ll look back at the first decade of the 21st century—when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world population surged, tornados plowed through cities, floods and droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments were threatened by the confluence of it all—and ask ourselves: What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population redlines all at once?”
The only answer is that it is difficult, even if it is necessary, to change our view of life. We are destroying vital reserves, consuming our own future.
We exploit natural resources and pollute the earth with our waste to such an extent that it exceeds the planet’s capacity for self-restoration. We cannot change ourselves at will, and, hence, we will be reformed by the crisis, quickly and radically. Over the course of a few decades, we will have completely reformed the economy, the power industry, and transportation.
“We will realize that the consumer-driven growth model is broken and we have to move to a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less.”
“We are heading for a crisis-driven choice,” Gilding, the veteran Australian environmentalist-entrepreneur, says. “We either allow collapse to overtake us or develop a new sustainable economic model. We will choose the latter. We may be slow, but we’re not stupid.”