Most recent, Diamond has become pessimistic about our capacity to manage events. He fears that our blinkered elites will fail to address serious problems facing us all, like global warming and perhaps nuclear war, and that in the end we will find ourselves on the road to extinction. At one point, Wallace-Wells quotes him as saying “I would estimate the chances are about 49 percent that the world as we know it will collapse by about 2050. I’ll be dead by then but my kids will be, what? Sixty-three years old in 2050. So this is a subject of much practical interest to me. At the rate we’re going now, resources that are essential for complex societies are being managed unsustainably. Fisheries around the world, most fisheries are being managed unsustainably, and they’re getting depleted. Farms around the world, most farms are being managed unsustainably. Soil, topsoil around the world. Fresh water around the world is being managed unsustainably. With all these things, at the rate we’re going now, we can carry on with our present unsustainable use for a few decades, and by around 2050 we won’t be able to continue it any longer. Which means that by 2050 either we’ve figured out a sustainable course, or it’ll be too late.”
That’s pretty darn frightening, and we can only hope he’s wrong. But, let’s face it, given tRump and his supporters, and all their words about Fake News and Junk Science, it is dreadfully possible that he is absolutely right.