We need to grow up, stop shirking our responsibility and manage our power:
The tipping point study in Nature:
David Roberts at Grist quoting Christopher Mims: ‘He frames things this way: The Earth has a certain amount of biological productivity, based on the energy it receives from the sun. Insofar as we degrade or destroy bits of that natural life-support system, we have to reconstitute its “ecosystem services” some other way, mainly through technology. Unfortunately, the Earth is better than us at creating a system in which humans can thrive; biology, after all, is just extremely advanced technology, in comparison to which our machines are clumsy and wasteful. Replacing ecosystem services with technological services — replacing freshwater with desalinized water, say — will exhaust an increasingly large portion of our inventive capacity, time, and work.
Here’s how Mims puts it:
In a hundred years, the biggest industries will all be devoted to the cybernetic enhancement of the planet itself. Whatever limbs we sever now, whatever critical systems we wreck, are going to have to be replaced. Imagining that they might even be upgraded underestimates the unfathomable parallel processing power of 4 billion years of evolution on this planet, which is essentially a vast computer for determining the optimal solution to the problem of resource allocation. So no, I don’t think we’re going to do better.’