This essay examines the growing controversy over what government, industry, and the public are doing to protect the fate of Earth’s ecosystems. Climate change is just one aspect, and possibly not even the most significant dimension. Some experts argue that, if we are not vigilant, humans will overshoot ecological limits and enter a period of collapse. Others believe that this doomsday scenario is preposterous. They argue that technological advances, new resource discoveries, and shifts in consumptive patterns will ensure that future generations’ needs will be met.
The analysis briefly examines the positive and negative forces in play, such as technology, population, and affluence. In addition, it offers a critical examination of society’s attitudes toward protecting the environment and its capacity to achieve the elements necessary to realize a sustainable future. The analysis ultimately presents a forbidding scenario of what the future may hold unless society rises to a challenge the likes of which humankind has not faced before.