Choose your poison. We can avoid the damage caused by climate change simply by nuking ourselves.
I’m sure you noticed recently that the UN Environment Program issued a statement that there is ‘no credible pathway to 1.5C in place’, i.e. we can’t achieve the goal of limiting the average rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius. So that’s from the horse’s mouth.
There’s another horse’s mouth, namely Bill Gates. He recently also stated that the 1.5C goal was out of reach, but he still believes we can limit the damage to an average rise of 2 degrees Celsius.
I can’t remember all the gory details but I guess that means stuff like, instead of a sea-level rise of 6 feet on average, it will be 5 feet or some such. Not to mention the impact on everything else, including human health, species extinction and poverty.
So, the “easy” way to avoid Armageddon – global agreements to limit carbon emissions – is no longer a prospect. That leaves the hard ways such as using moon dust in space to shield us from the Sun’s rays. Just don’t hold your breath.
It seems to me that there are still ways to avoid calamity, but they all center on luck and serendipity. An asteroid strike of sufficient magnitude could cause global volcanism and global cooling, but its probably going to do irreparable dame to the Earth and humans anyway. So, another “solution.” Instead of preventing an asteroid strike, let it burn baby burn.
If global population goes into decline that could also do the trick but maybe it takes 150 years and the climate damage is already done by then. So we need something calamitous and short-term to come to our “rescue”. How about a nuclear war?
A nuclear war involving even a minimal exchange will destroy so much economic activity that it will reduce carbon emissions significantly. Voila problem largely solved except that humans will be collateral damage and it will take a few hundred years for things to settle down. A larger exchange will inject so much dust into the atmosphere it will lead to significant global cooling. Again, the collateral damage will be huge. But it would fix the climate problem.
So the outlook here is that if the nuclear war happens soon, we address the climate threat before it gets really serious and just end up with the nuclear fallout. If nuclear war happens in, say, 20 to 20 years, we get the climate damage and the nuclear holocaust to boot.
From a game-theoretic standpoint we should be doing all we can now to speed up nuclear war as a way of ending the climate threat. Or let those wayward asteroids strike.
One man’s meat is another man’s poison.
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