Last week, Ezra Klein declared us all toast in his Vox blog post “7 reasons America will fail on climate change.” He said that America had neither the will nor the way to do what’s required to stave off the worst of climate change’s threats. The key line in that piece for me was “This is climate change’s ugliest tradeoff: It pits our most fundamental economic goal against our core environmental imperative.” We’re too big to succeed, in other words, and we’re only really concerned right now with getting bigger.

America is, as the kids say, thirsty when it comes to moving, buying, and selling products because C.R.E.A.M., but in ways that are too often incompatible with environmental protection and climate security (and civil/human rights too, but I digress). As a consequence, the planet is dying of that thirst, while we humans are dying to find out just how far we can stretch this carbon-intense living before climate change flushes us all out of the system.

Knowing all of that, it’s tempting to concede climate change defeat in the face of our economic desires. Klein made a good case for throwing the towel in — or at least for describing how we may already have. Climate Progress’s Joe Romm revived hope with his own seven-point essay on why American’s “should” succeed on climate change. Klein’s Vox colleague Brad Plumer rightfully brought the doomsday proclamations down a few notches as well.