We humans have tried to dominate this planet and the earth has served as the basis for the material wealth enjoyed by many in the developed world. As our population has grown dramatically over the past hundred years, the planet’s ability to handle all of our needs has come under stress. I firmly believe that with ingenuity, technology, management and care, we can develop a renewable resource-based economy that can provide for all of us without destroying the planet. But a sustainable economy requires that we recognize our impact on the planet and learn to manage that impact. That requires science, engineering, management and a willingness to deal with reality.
Denying that humans cause climate change is a problem because climate is actually one of the more straightforward environmental impacts that we have identified. We know what causes greenhouse gas emissions and how to reduce them. By transitioning from fossil fuels to other forms of energy we can reduce human-made climate change. Changing the energy base of our economy will be a long and difficult process, but it is not particularly complicated.
Other problems—such as preserving biodiversity, the accumulation of marine debris, deforestation, and the release of toxics into our air, land, and water—are far more complex