The naive belief in the myth of human progress, in endless material advancement and technological advancement, is a form of magical thinking. The very forces that allowed us to dominate nature, from the machine to the fossil fuel industry, are the same forces that, if left unchecked, will ensure our extinction.

And yet, we cannot wrest ourselves away from our own creations as we ruthlessly exhaust and exploit a dying eco-system. This is how all civilizations vanish. The difference is that when we go down this time the whole planet will go with us.

There will be no new lands to conquer, no new peoples to subjugate, no new resources to plunder. We must rise up in open revolt against the established systems of power that are herding us over the cliff or accept our death as a species.

CHRIS HEDGES: spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years. He left the Times after being issued a formal reprimand for denouncing the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.