Ill-Adapted

Author Dennis Meadows, from a recent PBS American Experience program called Earth Days:

We’ve been on this planet for several hundred thousands of years, and during most of that time, anybody who looked far into the future didn’t have much survival value. I mean, if you’re in the midst of a battle with a mammoth or something, you don’t sit there and say, “Well, let’s think about three years from now;” you run.

And so, for a long period of time, the advantage went to those who focused on the immediate situation. And, I think, as a consequence of that, now that we are faced with issues which will really unfold over centuries, we’re genetically and institutionally ill-adapted for it.

Up the creekWeb cartoonist Francesco Marciuliano shows us where short-term thinking will lead. (Click the image to see the whole cartoon, which is funnier and scarier than this little excerpt.)