Mayer Hillman is a smart guy, and he wrote this book about global warming. He starts by explaining global warming, and why it's a real and major problem facing the world. He presents it as a moral concern, that it is up to us to make major changes to our lifestyle in order the save the planet for the next generation. That we must.
He proposes a method by which this would be done, basically that we determine an acceptable amount of carbon monoxide we can allow into the atmosphere, divide that by the number of people on the planet, and then through one means or another enforce that limit, equally on every citizen of the globe. No special exceptions for countries and very few for individuals.
Hillman earnestly declares that the only solution to the problem of global warming is to limit the amount of carbon people are entitled to generate (he goes through numerous alternatives, and explains why he believes they are insufficient). Several times in the book he says that there is no choice in the matter, the only other alternatives are to prevent the developing world from developing or to just allow global warming to happen, and those are not acceptable alternatives.
Perhaps I'm cynical, but I'm pretty sure that last is exactly what is going to happen; time and again in history humans have seen shit coming down the pipe and done nothing. People are too selfish, too lazy, and too obsessed with economic "progress" and with status to make the huge and immediate changes that would be needed to prevent the coming disaster. I would love to be wrong.
My lifestyle is pretty low-impact (we don't have a car and I do most of my daily living on foot, we live in a multi-family dwelling, and we don't consume a great deal of stuff, relatively speaking) but Hillman's book has driven it home to me that the exorbitant number of flights I take pretty much blows that all away. Since Delphine was born we have been to Saskatchewan, New York, Florida, Las Vegas, and Saskatchewan again, and we're going to Florida again in February. That's twelve flights in less than two years: fucking ridiculous. I have to cut down, which gives me this horrible fear that I will only ever be going to Saskatchewan from now on. Argh.