"At a 3% per annum growth rate of CO2, a 2.5℃ rise brings world economic growth to a halt in about 2025."
I wonder if attempts by the scientific community to persuade world leaders of the severity of this problem would have been more successful if this had been more emphasized, rather than inches of sea level rise, wildlife extinctions, effects on poor populations, etc. If there is one thing political and financial leaders understand, it is their own dependence on continued economic growth - and continued expectations of economic growth.
Maybe the precise date is off, but the trend is already becoming clear, and effects are accelerating. Developed economies grow in the low single digits, it's not going to take much to eliminate much or all of it.
Edit: Which potentially makes the new normal, whenever it may come, a constant recession. That is going to be... interesting.
And is it even trending down? Hard to see a clear trend here: https://www.worldometers.info/gdp/ (see GDP Growth Rate, World (1961-2017))
To solve all these other very current sources of pollution that are killing us right now, we need to consume less. We need more trains, fewer cars, cellphones that are designed to last 8~12 years instead of 2~4, industry that isn't based on infinite growth, more automation, less fear over loss to automation, and just a huge change in the way we think about the world, consumption and the economy.
All of these changes will reduce CO2, but CO2 is just a symptom of a much much larger problem. People will continue to argue about CO2, and it'd a red haring. Humanity needs to focus on the actual Flu and not the runny nose/sniffles.
CO2 is not just disrupting the climate, it is also acidifying the seas, which will soon suffer an eco-collapse as shellfish and coral become unable to precipitate calcium out of the water.
There is a nearly commensurate problem. If existing A/C and refrigeration systems end up venting their HFCs, that will cause as much climate disruption as CO2, and remain in the atmosphere for centuries. Somehow we have to drain every failed compressor and incinerate it all.
You have to be careful about magnifying good plans into a design to destroy and replace every institution of power. If you let your views about how society should be organized piggyback on the need to solve problems, you'll end up fighting for a communist revolution instead of fighting climate change.
There are plenty of ways to address this issue that don't involve the larger problem, (the larger problem being society, human nature, the universal wavefunction and the boundary conditions of the universe...) and you can implement them without having to fight off opposition from everyone else on earth.
Regular old techniques like funding research and taxing externalities can help with this problem, and the opposition to them is going to be far smaller than the opposition to replacing capitalism, or whatever bigger-picture solution you're alluding to.
Feel free to join these communities actively looking for support and with ongoing projects (that are alive):
"Timescale for significant impact, very roughly 50 years"
"1°C Rise (2005): Barely noticeable"
"2.5°C Rise (2038): Major economic consequences, Strong regional dependence"
"5°C Rise (2067): Globally Catastrophic effects"
The world has released more since that document was produced, than in the whole of human history before it.
Unfortunately there's still a lot of people that think this is a natural cycle and that it's not caused by humans. The sad truth is that for anything drastic to happen we will probably need to wait another 20-30 years for (a) the consequences to be right in your face, and (b) a majority of the old decision makers holding us back to be dead, retired, or irrelevant (no longer have the pull whisper in new decision maker's ears).
In Europe there seems to be a growing public awareness and will to respond, the EU might catch up to public opinion. It's been in our face consequence wise for most of the last 10 years. Summers we expect once or twice in a lifetime coming every 2 or 3 years is kinda hard to not notice...
Today we have a massive heat wave in June which threatens half a billion people in the first world who have never needed air conditioning. France has already seen high temps of 115 f.
It boggles the mind to think the American government is actively accelerating this crisis.
It shouldn't. They're effectively owned by the fossil fuel/military/prison industrial complex. And the billionaires who run things would rather build bunkers in New Zealand than actually fix the problems they've created because they're so insulated from them that they no longer understand how the world actually works.
I mean what did we expect would happen when we based our economy around the rule that everyone must maximize profits at all costs, eh.
CO2 doesn't matter.