If the human race continues to expand at its current rate, some environmental scholars believe, we will need to embrace ever more exarkic strategies (car-sharing, public transportation, dense urban living, smart grids, computer-assisted efficiency algorithms) to survive. The problem is that the more other-reliant we become, the greater the possibility for widespread calamity. The hermit, alone in his hut, risks starvation, but not famine.
The reliance on others involves both risk and reward: it allows us to expand beyond the boundaries of our individual bodies, but when the collective system that we rely on begins to buckle, it brings us all down with it. Recognizing the potential of this ever-looming (and ever-widening) disaster should impel us to make vast improvements on a structural scale, and fast.