Not to beat up on humans, I love being one, but let's take a look at some primary accusations the rest of living organisms might make if they could, well...only find a way to communicate with us. One perfect example can be found in a book titled Ishmael. While I don't purport this novel to answer humanities failures, but it does probe into the culture of our behavior.
We lack the ability to respond to a fundamental reality of finite resources because in an economic system the value of these resources are externalities that hold little meaning in comparison to wealth building in financial terms. We fail miserably in efficient outcomes.
Why? A culture of belief that never ending consumption, is the key to our remaining at the top of the evolutionary chain. This includes development, a term that has evolved from the establishment of civilization. Humans have a tendency to conquer rather than coexist. As Darwin might say, survival is based on one's ability to thrive over another organism. Evidence of this can be seen not only in grand edifice as a symbol of human greatness, but in our crowing achievement of eliminating disease.
To be certain, there is no turning back the magnitude of our achievement, though cataclysmic they may be in