bill mckibben, in this interview, was asked whether there was any reason to be optimistic. this is what he answered and i think he is so right:
I’m not all convinced it is going to get dealt with. You know, you wrote that we seem to be on kind of a suicide mission as a civilization. And that case is easier to make than the case that we’re going to figure out how to deal with it. So I don’t know. I’m very hopeful that in the last few years we’ve finally built a big global movement that gets bigger all the time that didn’t exist before. And I’m hopeful that we’re getting closer to the nub of the problem.
We spent 20 years basically working on the model — let’s have our great scientists go talk to political leaders and tell them the problem, and then we’ll do something. This was a perfectly good model for what to do, but what it didn’t reckon with was the fact that while they were talking, the fossil fuel industry would be bellowing in the other ear — just bellowing this toxic mix of threats and promises and whatever else. I think we’re at the point where we kind of understand what the problem is in a way that we didn’t. And we’ll see if we can take it on… Mother Nature provides an almost endless series now of teachable moments. We’ll see if we can take advantage of them.
If you were a betting person, I’m afraid you’d be wise to bet that we might not pull this out. But I just don’t think it’s a bet you’re allowed to make. I think the only thing that a morally awake person can do when the worst thing that ever happened is happening is try and figure out how to change the odds — with not any guarantee that it’s all going to come out OK. Because it may not. I mean it clearly isn’t going to come out 100 percent OK. We’ve already had big losses and they will get worse. Whether or not we can stop short of complete catastrophe, we’ll find out. And we won’t find out in a hundred years, we’ll find out rather more quickly than that. Our lifetimes will be more than long enough to see whether or not we actually grabbed hold of this problem or not.
I guess the only other thing is just that this, what’s the alternative? [laugh] Existential despair just seems like a kind of poor strategy in many ways.