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I realize that you have very firm convictions about this that are not going to be changed, so I don't want to drum this into the ground. But two minor points that might help you feel a little more optimistic:

You make a second point about re-building/moving energy infrastructure, which I do not agree with. There are two issues here. The first is that the population distribution will be changing rapidly, with people moving into regions that are less impossible for humans to live in, abandoning cities with coastlines changing with sea level rise and all the rest that go with that. You dismissed this with the expected lifetime of a power plant. The failure is in the details.

I think that you overlooked my major point - "rapidly" in this context isn't all that rapid in relationship to the useful life of almost everything in the city. Most (not all, but most) of a city has a useful life measured in a few decades, and the stuff that doesn't requires fairly significant investment in maintenance and repair to keep it going past that. Heck, populations are pretty mobile already, with massive shifts of population in even shorter time frames than sea level rise will occur in.

So if you told me we had to move almost all the population off the eastern seaboard to at least fifty miles inland (and probably more into the midwest), I would ask you how long we had. If you say two years, that's an impossibility. If you say thirty years, I'd say it would be pretty easy to manage.

You can always find someone to doubt. The world is full of economists and other cornucopian followers. The scientists however, are really scared, and they have better models and better understanding of them than most of us. YMMV. I call it as I see it.

Of course they're scared. There's enormous uncertainty involved in making major changes to the environment, and there will be negative impacts. But none of the official reports are coming anywhere close to predicting the type of collapse of human civilization that you treat as a near-certainty.

I suppose I'm also impacted by spending a fair amount of time looking at Peak Oil discussions, where you also had a cadre of scientists who were quite convinced that 'civilization' couldn't handle the horrible disruptions that would occur if oil prices were to ever go as high as, say, $60 per barrel. History may have some examples of civilizations that have disappeared, but it is also littered with examples of very smart people making dire predictions of how civilization will end that have all failed.

It's not cornucopian to recognize that our current practices aren't the only way of doing things, so that if we have to stop those practices to adapt to the climate we won't be doomed. Indeed, that's what underlies the effort to reduce emissions in the first place - understanding that just because we've done it one way for a long time doesn't mean it will be catastrophic to make very significant changes. These same scientists propose the complete restructuring of the entire energy sector of the world economy and major changes to the global international political framework, with the brunt of the impacts falling on several large-population nuclear powers (India and China) that rely on rapid internal growth to provide some measure of domestic stability over literally billions of people.

Albaby
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