The end of civilization?
This might be controversial with some of my friends, but no, there is no high likelihood of human civilization ending within the next 30 years.
Yes, climate change is happening, and we're obviously not reacting fast and effective enough. But that won't kill humanity, and it will not end civilization.
Some highly populated areas might become uninhabitable. No question about this. Whole countries in southern Asia, central and South America, in Africa, might become too hot and too humid or too dry for human living. This would lead to hundreds of millions, maybe billions of people, who will want to move, to save their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Many, many people would die in these migrations.
The migration pressures on the countries that are climatically better off may become enormous, and it will either lead to massive bloodshed or to enormous demographic changes, or, most likely, both.
But look at the map. There are large areas in northern Asia and North America that would dramatically improve their habitability for humans if they would warm a bit. Large areas could become viable for growing wheat, fruits, corn.
As it is already today, and as it was for most of human history, we produce enough food and clean water and shelter and energy for everyone. The problem is not production, it is and will always be distribution. Facing huge upheaval and massive migration the distribution channels will likely break down and become even more ineffective. The disruption of the distribution network will likely also endanger seemingly stable states, and places that thought to pass the events unscathed will be hurt by that breakdown. The fact that there would be enough food will make the humanitarian catastrophes even more maddening.
Money will make it possible to shelter away from the most severe effects, no matter where you start now. It's the poor that will bear the brunt of the negative effects. I don't think that's surprising to anyone.
But even if almost none of today's countries might survive as they are, and if a few billion people die, the chances of humanity to end, of civilization to end, are negligible. Billions will survive into the 21st century, and will carry on history.
So, yes, the changes might be massive and in some areas catastrophic. But humanity and civilization will preserve.
Why this post? I don't think it is responsible to exaggerate the bad predictions too much. It makes the predictions less believable. Also, to have a sober look at the possible changes may make it easier to understand why some countries react as they do. Does this mean we don't need to react and try to reduce climate change? If that's your conclusion, you haven't read carefully along. I said something about possibly billions becoming displaced.
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