... Sniggering at Greens.
Bryan is a being a little too modest in this post when he says that it's just his lay person's opinion and as suich as worthless as every other lay person's. Having read Understanding the Present I can assure all who read this that Bryan has a much better grasp of science than most of us and is extraordinarily good at explaining it. He also has a much better grasp of science's epistemological implications than most scientists have.
That said, I don't get one point: "Whether it is cyclical is irrelevant ..." If it is cyclical, it is, well, part of the cycle and has happened before and will presumably happen again. Is there any evidence for such a catastrophic cyclical occurence? Catastrophes have occurred in the past - asteroid collisions and the like - but they're not part of a cycle.
Moreover, it seems to me that the solution to whatever problem there may be is going to come by way of technology not eco-asceticism. I am amazed atv how the same people who preach at us that Nature is so much greater than humankind can turn right around and preach at us that only humankind can save oh-so-fragile Nature.