The Climate Elephant in the Earth-sized room trumps (sorry to use that word) everything. If you're a student of history, you should be aware of how very lovely civilizations have simply disappeared due to various ecological collapses. I'm thinking right now about the Sumerians, the Maya, and the Anasazi.

We're pretty smart fucks, but we're awfully stupid, too. Along with climate dislocation, we have the same old nation states armed with everything from 5th generation fighter jets to nuclear bombs in a terrifying array of delivery mechanisms.

It's true, population growth world-wide (but maybe not in Africa YET) is decelerating, which is very good. Getting through the hump as people age, but are not being replaced, IS going to be a weird challenge, but you have to imagine the world on the other side...

And we're all NOT going to move to Mars and be happy happy. We already have a terra-formed planet with decent atmospheric pressure, 23% oxygen to breathe, and both an ozone layer and a magnetic field to protect us from nasty radiation. None of that exists on Mars - and also, the Martian soil is full of toxic perchlorates, which aren't too swuft for growing potatoes or playing volleyball in the back yard.

I hope we survive the next hundred years, but I'm not automatically optimistic. We're going to need to use every bit of our intelligence, scientific research, and technological capacity to get it done, and completely drop the unconscious tribal warfare shit subconsciously built into our behavioral circuits from 300,000 years ago.

Also, just to be a little more scary, most of life on Earth is made out of single-celled organisms in the air, the oceans, fresh water, the soil, and in symbiosis with macroscopic organisms, both plants and animals. As we monkey (there's a good word!) with the temperature, the humidity, CO2 levels of the air, the temperature and pH of the oceans, and the moisture content of the soil, they'll all respond in ways we only minimally understand,

and, as Walter Cronkite said, "That's the way it is."



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John Levin

Scientist. Writer. Meditator. Blue Tantrika. Mystical Rabbi. Climate & Human Rights Activist. I’m a man of few words, except when I open my mouth.