Historically, when a resource has been depleted, more often than not, societies have found an alternative rather than simply choosing to commit societal Hari Kari as Diamond would have us believe. In Europe, when forests could no longer meet our fuel needs, we moved on to coal, and then on to oil and someday we will move on to something else.
I do not mean to suggest that the western world is doing fine or to minimize the significance of our current environmental and economic problems. On the contrary, these problems are substantial, if not epoch defining. All I mean to say is that, even though these problems are enormous, they do not justify the kind of pessimism expressed by Franzen, Mamet, and others. All of our problems are soluble and will indeed be solved.
Oh. Well, then. Simple and certain. That’s sure a relief!