Now since there are many things acting upon our environment some people think this is a call to do nothing - like it's out of our control - but we know that's not true. We are one of the actors and we have a lot of control over what we do and what we will permit. For instance they've found plastic bags in the depths of the ocean and in Antarctica. We have a large impact on our planet and each time we cut down a tree we are impacting our environment. So we are being disingenuous to think our environment is completely out of our control.
So while the science isn't settled on climate change, this is not a call to do nothing. In fact it is the opposite, it is time we take responsibility for the well being of our environment and if the sun is causing climate change (which I doubt) we should be doubling down on our efforts to ensure the climate stays stable - for purely the sake of self-preservation.
Why? For a start a) there is no where else for us to move to. While we are looking to building habitats on the moon and Mars, we are still a long way off from being able to live there and b) we will still be dependent on the earth for our technology and food for a long while to come.
Yes, our technology is dependent on our civilization on this planet earth. Apparently there is no single person on earth who knows how to make a computer mouse - everything from the tiny circuit board in there, the laser, the plastics that make up your mouse, and all the code - plus then the people who know how to make the plastics and mine the materials for the circuit board, they very probably don't know how to grow all the food those people need to eat or the coffee they drink while they are creating those circuits and plastics and then assembling your mouse - and that's just your mouse. Then there are clothes, the technology to move about and the entertainment you might want when you are living on Mars, plus then there are all the other people you need to make up your world, whether they are medical personal, people you work with, people you love or the people who brew your coffee at your favorite coffee shop.
So let's do a cost-benefit analysis on climate change. This is definitely the kind of thing you might find mixed in with your quarterly stock report so here goes:
We have 2 options, do nothing about climate change, or do all we can.
And the climate scientists might be right or they may be wrong. Either way they have been studying this - kind of like if you get cancer, you don't go to your barista for advice. Why is it we don't trust climate scientists? I have a PhD in data science, I know I am no expert on climate science, but I am a scientist. When scientific consensus is that we have a problem, I am not going to disagree with them.
So the experts say we have a problem, if they are right and we fix our environmental problems, then great. We get a bunch of new technology, we get to continue living and can continue to use our technology. Plus we get a clean environment. This is the responsible and adult thing to do. The downside is some old rich guys are out some money but they are old and will be dead soon because they are old.
If the scientists are right and we don't fix the environment - old rich guys will remain rich which won't benefit them much because they're old and will soon be dead anyway. The downside is we and our technology are fucked. We are already experiencing extreme weather events.
If the scientists are wrong and we don't fix the environment - old rich guys will of course remain rich. We get to continue to live in the filthy mess that rich old guys want us to live in.
If the scientists are wrong and we do fix the environment then we get a whole bunch of new technology and we get a clean planet to live in. Sure old rich guys may be out of some money but they'll be dead soon anyway.
In my opinion there is no downside to fixing the environment and it is the responsible thing to do. We have the knowledge and skill to manage our environment and we will be dependent upon this planet, whether we set up colonies on the moon and Mars, for probably centuries to come.
We can't afford to live in denial despite all the money there is in denying the problem. We need oil for much transportation that our technology doesn't cover yet. Plug-in hybrids work well for the average family who can afford one. But our plug-in hybrid tech may not cut it for ships, trains, planes and semi-trailers. However we have CO2 recapture technology which we could use for fuel rather than drilling for oil. The environment will thank us and this recaptured CO2 fuel could be used for transportation plug-in hybrid doesn't work for, otherwise we can store the CO2 underground while we work on solving our emissions problems.
In many ways our understanding of ourselves and our environment is just beginning - our technology is cool but it also is quite primitive in that we don't have recycling built into our manufacturing - we bring products to market that are designed to be thrown into landfill too soon. When our manufacturing and development recycles itself in accordance with the principles of the universe, IE the universe and our environment recycles everything in time, will our society be sustainable, then we will be able to live on new worlds.