The pessimistic (realist?) social science pov is that it takes crises to focus our hearts and minds and only such crises will force us to make the difficult trade-offs necessary.
Thanks for the article.
There are too many salient points in your response to cover adequately, Michael, but the above made me think about how corporations think only as far ahead as the next quarter. By contrast, the Chinese think in centuries. They aren’t the only ones. The knee jerk response to crises is perfectly expressed in the now-endangered Endangered Species Act. Rather than thinking about the future, we consume and scorch and burn until suddenly, oh shit! Our medical system operates the same way. Rather than prevention, we await catastrophe.
I agree with all your points. I wish I had answers. As Safina points out we are all too good at 20–20 hindsight, after which point in many cases the losses are irreparable. What saddens me is that we do not learn from these lessons but repeat them ad infinitum. Again thanks for your very considered response. Lots to think about here.