The first step on any intentional journey is determining where you are.
Here is a bold assertion. There are only two problems in the world. Human overpopulation and the human contribution to global climate change.
Here is a second audacious assertion. I feel the information contained in these three links provide a platform to understand why we are in this dilemma and why we have been unable to dig ourselves out.
Assertion number three. It is my understanding that many very smart people who have devoted their professional lives to the study of these problems have told us that time and the rate of change are running against us on every level. I would suggest that, given the rate of population growth, degradation by pollution, and our continued output of greenhouse gases- the notion of a 'human-engineered-reversal' of the big problems is an illusion or delusion or both.
I know, I can be a bit of gloomy guy. I'm better with a few drinks in me.
*A couple of folks have asked what then should we do? First, I am humbled if not astounded that they would think I know the answers in any real depth. I don't. That bears repeating. I do not know the answers in any real depth. My hope is that any number of very smart people will be encouraged to focus their considerable mental energies on the situation as it really exists.
My best guess follows:
1: Keep attempting to lower carbon emissions- but don't spend all your resources on this endeavor. You will need them for 'other things'.
2: In short, the 'other things' have to do with facing the facts.
>The world is warmer and will be for the imaginable future. Period.
Due to the warming earth, much of the world's ice will melt.
Melting ice will raise sea levels.
A significant portion of the world's population lives along the shore of the sea.
Encourage populations to move away from coastal areas to the extent possible.
>As has already been noted, the warming earth will also change weather patterns and negatively impacting crop production. Stop making so many people. People eat food. Try to eat lower on the food chain. (In short, less meat).
>Stop electing people to decision making positions who have nineteenth century thinking. That is; they don't 'believe' in global warming, evolution, etc. Continuing to do this is worse than not helping advance toward our goal. Outmoded thinking actually pushes us further from our goal.
>Plant more trees. A lot more trees!
>Start encouraging the worlds production resources toward helpful technologies and products. In short, make things that will help people deal with the difficulties they will undoubtedly face.
>Obviously, I haven't even touched upon social unrest as hundreds of millions of our fellow earthlings clamber for dwindling resources. But that's ok. You don't really want to know about that. Seriously, you don't.