As daunting as the problem of climate change is, it is still only a symptom of a deeper and more fundamental issue. The unstoppable force of human technological development and power is meeting the immovable object of our planet's biosphere. Our economies are built on the celebration of waste, our public discourse consists largely of a disconnected trivia in which celebrity is valued above knowledge or responsibility, and our commercial and political institutions are incapable of long or even medium term thinking. Nevertheless, there ARE reasons for hope.
And the one thing that is certain is that we WILL change. The question is whether we will change in our own, orderly, way according to our choice, or be changed chaotically by forces beyond our control. Whatever happens, we won't be living like this in fifty years. Reality will triumph over the most entrenched hubris and arrogance. Faith in the technology that has caused so many of our problems is misplaced without the wisdom to temper that power. These are dramatic times - times that will be remembered for many millennia to come, whatever kind of world we leave our descendants.
In the end, perhaps the most important crisis is a personal one, inside each and everyone of us. What did YOU do when it counted? What part did YOU play? What kind of a person will the crisis of climate change expose you to be? In the end, there are no more important questions than these: Who are you? Why are you here?
(An extract from the avalanche of comments in response to Guardian columnist George Monbiot's call for the "complete decarbonisation of the global economy")