Says Diamond of whether we'll end up succeeding in our transition to a green economy or going the way of the Ancient Mayans and other failed societies:
Summing up, I'm not an optimist; I'm not a pessimist. I would describe myself as a cautious optimist, and by that I mean that the problems that we face are all problems that we are causing, and so if we decide to solve the problems, we can solve them.
I'm not worried about some asteroid that we can't stop crashing into the Earth – that would be a hopeless problem, an unsolvable problem. Instead, I'm concerned about what we people, ourselves, do with our water, and our forests, and our fish and our topsoil. We already know how to manage forests, and fish, and waters sustainably and we do it in some cases. All we have to do is do it in the other cases, as well, and we'll be sailing off into a happy future; my children will end up in a world worth living in.
We have the knowledge, but do we have the political willpower?