Thursday, January 4, 2018

Mankind’s Future on Earth: Will Hope and Change Overcome Inertia?

What is going to happen in the world in the future? No one knows the details — not even the Angels know what specifically and exactly the future holds. But, in general terms, here are a few givens (based upon Social and Cultural Inertia perpetuated by Status Quo Bias):
1. Ocean levels will continue to rise for at least another several hundred years — probably much  much longer. That’s even if the majority of mankind and our current industrial models suddenly disappeared tomorrow.
2. Global temperature increases will continue to increase until such point that people already living in warm environs are forced to evacuate to more hospitable habitats in such numbers that global warfare becomes the norm. The global economy and industrial activity will be either drastically reduced or collapse (based upon the severity and nature of the global conflicts).
3. Oceanic and terrestrial methane hydrate de-gasification will continue to amplify the atmospheric greenhouse effect and ocean acidification. Extinction of terrestrial and oceanic species will continue.

The most likely cause of diminution of global warming is that nuclear war erupts to such a degree that we are unable to continue the carbonization of the Earth’s biosphere. And for that, Trump and the self-fulfilling apocalyptic prophecies of the world’s religious fundamentalists have a very special role to play.

Of course, proactive measures would mitigate much of this. But that would require changing our ways. Hence the title of this piece.