Let me enthusiastically recommend this essay on The Oil Drum by Nate Hagens. It’s about human beings’ discount rate, its evolutionary origins, and its implications for climate change and peak oil. In psychology, "discount rate" refers to the fact that we value events/rewards/dangers less the more distant they are in the future. We, less than other mammals but far more than Rational Man, strongly prefer the present.

The essay is long, and if you have a kneejerk aversion to evolutionary psychology your knee will jerk, but it isolates what I’ve long believed to be the central problem for greens these days. It’s just extremely difficult to convince people to care much about circumstances 100 or even 50 years from now. We’re not built that way.