By Kim Stanley Robinson, award-winning science fiction writer and author of chapter 34: “Is It Too Late?” in State of the World 2013.
Recently, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels passed the 400 parts per million milestone. This might be the perfect time to ask ourselves a difficult question about our present situation on Earth: Is it too late?
Has humanity already run off the cliff without noticing it – just like the lovable but foolhardy cartoon character Wile E. Coyote? Have we overshot the carrying capacity of the Earth so badly that we are doomed to a horrible crash, after oil, or fresh water, or topsoil, or fish, or many other things – after one or all of them become scarce? So that no matter what we do in the meantime, it’s a foregone conclusion that we’re in for a fall?