“With coal gone, oil gone, high-grade metallic ores
gone, no species however competent can make the long climb from
primitive conditions to high-level technology. This is a one-shot
affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is
concerned. The same will be true of other planetary systems. On
each of them there will be one chance, and one
-- Sir Fred Hoyle, "Of Men and Galaxies," 1964
Look on our works, and despair!
The resources are no longer there;
There was only one chance:
This was a one-shot affair.