I missed out on the big climate change awareness march in Manhattan today. I work weekends, and heading down to Manhattan for a spell before rushing back to Westchester in time for work was just not an option. I don't think that this was a cop-out on my part. I cover "green" issues fairly regularly, and the presence of one more person at the rally isn't as important as the presence of a voice consistently harping on green issues.
To me, the biggest problem facing our society is our utter failure to look beyond the immediate future: the next quarter, the next election cycle, the next ratings period... these occupy the thoughts of our policy makers to a far greater extent than a long-term, sustainable future. The symptoms of this underlying failure to develop a long-range plan, better yet, a multi-generational blueprint for the future, can be see in all walks of life- bubble economies, boom-and-bust cycles, environmental degradation, and infrastructure delapidation. Tragically, I don't see any changes being implemented until it's too late. Hell, at this point, I'm convinced that the best we can do is to lessen the impact of the coming crash, but big business and bad government actors are doing their damnedest to put the pedal to the metal.
I've long maintained that fossil fuels should be considered "startup capital" to be used to usher in a sustainable energy economy. The problem is that Homo sapiens has been burning (quite literally) the "seed money" with little effort to develop the next generation of energy sources. My personal feeling is that biofuels developed from algae or small, quick growing plants suck as duckweed. Carbon capture would best be achieved through reforestation efforts.
At any rate, the most important change that has to occur is that we, as a species, have to think of a future beyond the next quarter.