I have had a number of conversations recently with fairly sensible, well-educated people who, without being miserably pessimistic, just quietly accept that the global biosphere can and will do very nicely without the human race which they accept is approaching the final lap in its own demise. It is not difficult to find evidence that we, as a species, are pushing our luck and there is no reason to believe that we will last forever and plenty of reason to suppose the contrary. Despite that, there is evidence of the ingenuity of the human race in pushing the frontiers back. There are people working on a vaccine which will tackle all viruses within a type – influenzas for a start. There are people working on new anti-biotics. There are people who are trying to arrest and reverse climate change (as this post keeps suggesting; we can do a lot with more green leaves).
Too little, too late? Probably. I remain optimist. It does not seem much use to be anything else. If we fail, then at least we will have been cheerful along the way. Nevertheless, to succeed, optimism has to produce action, real, sustainable action. Better start now.
Bill Butterworth 6th January 2016