We're likely already past the point of no return, we should be considering plan B - which is: How do we live in an inhospitable world as a result of global warming?
I think if we end up in such a state, the two most important resources to have will be energy and raw materials. If it were me, I would consider harboring precious metals (for building electronics, batteries, infrastructure, etc), building renewable energy sources, building nuclear power plants (particularly salt reactors - to take up any additional load), investing into nuclear fusion (it's quite close now) and making sure the military is well funded (you need to protect whatever benefits you have). If needs be, steal technologies to further your own capability as fast as possible. To keep your society in order, you would probably want to reduce any internal resistance, so slowly reducing freedom of speech and freedom of expression to keep things in order (i.e. control the internet). Additionally, you want to protect any area (land/sea/air/space) you have and claim as much additional resource intensive and/or strategic area you can get away with. If you're going down anyway, you may as well cause as much environmental damage as needed to further your own position in the end game.
Currently the only Country that would be "ready" by this standard is China, but the shear number of people may be their downfall. The only benefit would be that as resources run out, you can reduce your numbers by claiming more resources with you military (and mandatory inscription) - with their deaths easing pressure on infrastructure.
And look at the countries with the highest fertility rates:
This is not going to end well. Africa is already a net food importer, so as growing conditions deteriorate, food-growing countries will just cut the continent off.
Best we could do right now is quickly wean African nations off food and monetary aid (making up about 20% of many nations' GDPs), and replace it completely with contraception and education for women.
(apologies if you don't have access to the article)
It's OK to point out things are bad even though I haven't done everything possible to mitigate the harm. Perhaps that makes me a hypocrite but the veracity of the claim that it's unfortunate that we've gotten to this point still stands. Please don't let my hypocrisy or anyone else's hypocrisy prevent you from recognizing the growing harm to the environment that humans are causing.
It's unfortunate that as a species we tend to optimize for local min/max rather than global ones when engaged in our everyday behavior. Only regulations backed by strong political leadership will cause a change in behavior in enough people to make a difference. We need nudges.
In other words if you're not willing to take action why should you expect anyone else to take action?
I have tons of friends and acquaintances that love to spout off on their concern for the environment and then are in the process of buring down the planet with their 3rd vacations this year to the other side of the world and their 4th 10000 mile round trip flight in the last 6 months to attend some conference followed by Instagram pictures of all the loot they bought.
Heck, most of the tech companies fly there employees all over the place. fly them to SV for orientation. Fly them to some city for a global off-site. Fly them to the yearly team gathering. Apparently none of them really care either though they all have a PR page about their concern.
We are sleepwalking to oblivion.
1. The comparative impact of global warming relative to many other global phenomenon (including ecological phenomenon) is still comparatively low, and will continue to be comparatively low for the next 10-20 years or more. The red tide in Florida (which many don't even know is happening) is going to have a greater impact on the US GDP in 2018 than global warming.
2. Until people who make more than $10 a day are impacted more than the occasional brownout or heat wave, nothing outside of normal market forces is going to be done.
3. The current US administration does not accept human influenced climate change, and the current US minority party has decided to die on Mount Collusion rather than point out the many detrimental things that the majority party is doing to our environmental regulations.
I understand people are dying as a result of this. I understand that the dangers to specific parts of the globe are dire. But what's the plan? You can't shame heartless capitalists or devout technocrats into doing something they perceive as being against their best interests. The continued fearmongering isn't going to rouse any bases any more than it already has.