Finally, a point of agreement. I too believe eco activists are beyond all hope.
Fifty years of ‘environmentalism’ and we’re less sustainable. So what do we do now?
Did Earth rumble after the Rio+20 climate conference? Or was that the roar of a billion citizens letting go the expectation that polite dialogue and political process would restore Earth’s ecological balance?
In any case, the global zeitgeist shifted, at least within environmental discourse. Future historians may mark the period from BP’s 2010 oil spill disaster, through Fukushima, to the 2012 Rio failure as a state shift in ecological awareness.
Fifty years ago, in 1961, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, launching a new public discourse about ecology that reached an early zenith in 1972 at the first U.N. ecology conference in Stockholm. Today, we have armies of environment groups, swarms of ecology PhD graduates, environment ministers, conferences, science summits, green products, green travel, banners and blockades. But we are less sustainable than we were in 1961.
After 50 years of environmental efforts, the most troubling trends — Earth’s temperature, species diversity, soil health, toxic dumps, shrinking forest, expanding deserts — appear worse. The testimony of our collective failure blows around us like a chilling polar wind. It is too late to save the 25,000 species that blinked from existence, or the 300,000 people who perished from climate-change impact, last year, and will again this year. We have not yet turned the empires of humanity back toward the paradise from which they were born.