That the current climate change is nonlinear in its ferocity seems to have escaped notice. Inattention to this certain fact means that humanity is most likely to be extinct by the turn of the 22nd century.
The operational definition of intelligence is a consistent display of appropriate behavior. Behind the behavior is a mental construal of how the world works. Failing to comprehend the environment invariably has negative consequences. In the instance of humans on planet Earth, the diagnosis is clear and the outcome apparent. These creatures face impending extinction and are taking much other life out with them.
The tipping point of our own extinction was reached in 1940.
Economists refer to pollution as an externality of production. Its cost is not captured in the price of the good produced. Instead, those who suffer the pollution pay with diminished quality of life. Capitalism has been an exuberant exercise in externalities, long tolerated by governments which could have put them in check. Now, the U.S. administration is about to show long overdue notice.
The Wicked Witch of the West has the climate report: “I’m melting. What a world….” The poles are liquefying faster than expected, because it has only recently dawned on scientists that the biosphere is a gyre. Up to now, climate models have not included feedback loops.
Extinction around the globe is accelerating. Local populations of different species are increasingly being wiped out. Humans have long facilitated the process with pollution and habitat loss. Now it’s not just high temperatures and drought, though those help the kill rate. The root problem is that the web of life is being torn apart.
Every survey of global warming brings an alarming appreciation of accelerating rate. The poles are particularly punked. Ice sheets are in serious retreat. This affects the weather far and wide.