The Last Sustainable Year

As I read a seemingly endless stream of bad news: global warming, fuel prices, food prices, etc., I’ve been wondering – when was the last sustainable year? What was life like here on earth just before we crossed that unrecognized and invisible line toward unsustainablity?

Was it some time in the 70s? Was it in the 50s? What has happening in a boardroom? in a classroom? in a living room? when we slipped unnoticed onto the path we find ourselves on today? Could anyone have recognized or imagined all the consequences of decisions that probably weren’t even consciously made?

If we knew the year, the time, the place when we were still living within our global means – could we go back? Could we recreate the world into an image of its earlier self? What would we have to roll back to reach that day and year? How much (if anything) would we be willing to sacrifice to reclaim a world – though teetering – still essentially in balance?

Does anyone have any ideas? answers? clues? When was the last sustainable year? I’d really like to hear.

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