There are so many moments in history that could have gone entirely different if people had heeded the warnings they were given.
Caesar might have survived into old age if he had actually stayed home during the ides of March. The Titanic might not have hit that iceberg if it wasn’t going so fast through iceberg infested waters. Galveston might be a major thriving metropolis if it had built the seawall in time or at the very least, more people would have been saved if it had heeded the hurricane warnings coming from Cuba (read a book called Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson if you’re interested in this story).
Well, NASA is giving humanity a big giant warning but I doubt we’ll listen. It’s in our nature to wait to do anything until absolutely necessary. We procrastinate on both the individual and societal levels. Some people don’t believe we are in trouble. Some people are apathetic about it. And the rest of us are just overwhelmed and not in control of the mechanisms that need to be changed in order to ensure our survival.
Perhaps it’s for the best.
The house is on fire and we’re rearranging the furniture. Civilization will collapse, make no mistake. But it will do so because of a perfect storm of factors. It’s not just the climate change. It’s not just the using up of non-renewable resources and it’s not just over-population. It’s all of these and more. Nothing we do is in harmony with the planet. We have spent most of human history attempting to bend the world to our will and it’s at the breaking point.
We’ve been playing a short game for far too long. And our hubris will be our undoing. It always is.
Here’s an article about the NASA report if you haven’t already seen it pop up in your news feed.
I also recommend reading Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond. Those who don’t know their own history are doomed to repeat it.