Many people who have looked ahead have given up already. They conclude that the earth is doomed, and that the future of our civilization is literally “toast”. It’s true that we’re in for some “hard times”, with plenty of hot weather ahead no matter how quickly we change our ways for the better. But we are a resilient species, and we shouldn’t just give up without applying our ingenuity and giving it our best shot. We must dedicate ourselves to conserving the energy that is presently available to us, and to finding more efficient ways to harness wind and solar energy. There is some encouraging news on the horizon.

For instance, there is interest in building a new type of windmill that has circular rotating blades mounted on vertical shafts that could reduce both manufacturing and maintenance costs well below those for conventional turbines mounted on tall towers with aviation-type propellers. There is also a possibility that the new “nano-technology” can provide important benefits to the future development of solar power (9). Once a consensus has been established among the people of the world that we must pull together, there may be a new awakening of the human spirit to pull together toward our mutual survival. We see turmoil and lack of leadership around us today, so it’s easy to be demoralized. But just as Lester Brown reminds us of our willingness to sacrifice and mobilize during WWII, it’s possible that widespread public perception of the common threat of climate change, coupled with effective leadership, could have a similar effect again. Surely we won’t sit around like the Easter Islanders and consume our dwindling resources as we head toward our own demise? It’s time to form grass-roots organizations and work steadily toward a better future, with our eyes on the longer goals of a clean and healthy planet!

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