by Ray Ring
Note: This is a sidebar to a profile of the founder of High Country News and his increasingly pessimistic view of the future, headlined, "A Hell of an Anniversary."
“... A simple look at the upward path of global greenhouse-gas emissions (indicates) we will continue to squeeze the trigger on the gun we have put to our own head ...”
-- Eugene Linden, in The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of
Civilizations, Simon & Schuster, 2006
“... The ship is already starting to spin out of control. We may soon lose all chance of grabbing the wheel. Humanity faces a genuinely new situation.
It is not an environmental crisis in the accepted sense. It is a crisis for the entire life-support system for our civilization and our species.”
-- Fred Pearce, in The Last Generation: How Nature Will Take Her Revenge for Climate Change, Eden Projects Books, 2007
“... At this point it’s almost certainly too late to manage a transition to sustainability on a global or national scale, even if the political will to attempt it existed -- which it clearly does not. ... Our civilization is in the early stages of the same curve of decline and fall as so many others have followed before it. ... What likely lies in wait for us is a long, uneven decline into a new Dark Age from which, centuries from now, the civilizations of the future will gradually emerge.”
--John Michael Greer, in The Long Descent: A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age, New Society Publishers, 2008
“... We are strong and adaptable animals and can certainly make a new life on the hotter Earth, but there will only be a fraction of inhabitable land left ... Soon we face the appalling question of whom can we let aboard the lifeboats? And whom must we reject? ... There will be great clamor from climate refugees seeking a safe haven in those few parts where the climate is tolerable and food is available. ... We will need a new set of rules for (limiting the population in) climate oases.”
--James Lovelock, in The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning, Basic Books, 2009
“... Imagine we live on a planet. Not our cozy, taken-for-granted planet, but a planet, a real one, with melting poles and dying forests and a heaving, corrosive sea, raked by winds, strafed by storms, scorched by heat. An inhospitable place. ... It needs a new name. Eaarth.”
--Bill McKibben’s opening paragraph in Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, Times Books/Henry Holt, April, 2010