Sanderson has an excellent line in his op-ed where he describes Henry Hudson piloting toward the Manhattan shore where the twin towers would stand, and fall, almost 400 years later, his small, wooden ship “cleaving the waters with the narrow prow of history that would one day create New York City in its wake.”

We are still cleaving those waters, but our prow has grown wider and the boat now carries almost seven billion people. Resilience—for nature and human society—is an option, as Sanderson says. But unless we get our act together, so is foundering. For the press, sustainability is indeed the “story of our time.”

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.