Notice the tight correlation between CO2 emissions per person and standard of living:
That’s not a coincidence as physicist Tim Garrett has explained:
So if we ever decide to do something effective about climate change (assuming it’s not already too late due to self-reinforcing feedback loops) then that solution must include some combination of a lower standard of living and a lower population.
When was the last time you heard a leader or climate scientist speak with such clarity?
Probably never because most are in denial as explained by Ajit Varki’s theory:
Unfortunately, reducing our standard of living is not as simple as tightening our belts because of the large amount of debt we use to support our lifestyles and economy.
Contraction means a depression at best, and more likely some form of crash and collapse:
So the choice is severe economic hardship from a voluntary contraction, or collapse and possible extinction from climate change.
But it’s not so simple.
Our lifestyle and economy is totally dependent on burning non-renewable fossil carbon and we have already depleted the best low cost reserves:
The best minds predict we will have 50% less oil to burn in 10 years:
This means our lifestyles and economy will contract soon no matter what we choose to do.
So the real choice is do we want to try to control our decline in a civil and humane manner, or do we want to let nature force an uncivil and inhumane decline?
The correct choice seems obvious:
The correct choice is even more clear when you consider the many other negative side effects of human overshoot besides climate change:
But of course there is no choice because we are collectively unable to acknowledge or discuss our predicament due to the denial of reality behavior that enabled our unique brain:
Which probably explains why we have found no other intelligent life in the universe:
It’s also probable that complex multicellular life, like plants and animals, is extremely rare in the universe because it depends on a rare “accident” to create the eukaryotic cell:
Which means our planet really is special.
To sum all of this up, if you have the rare ability to break through the human tendency to deny reality, then you should be in awe of being alive to witness and understand this rare event in the universe, and you should be grateful for the good food and other comforts we enjoy.