What if I said that I think your dire predictions about the Earth looking like Venus are a bit over blown...
Maybe they are, maybe they are not. The point was that this is a thing we genuinely do not yet know and understand. Both on Earth and Venus (we are not yet sure how Venus became what it is today, how it evolved over time, where it started, etc.)
Just this morning I read a new story about a couple of actual researchers who discovered a massive flaw in nearly every climate model we've ever used which could change by half the amount of energy reaching the surface.
And like everything, this will be checked and verified or falsified, the models will be updated and new predictions will be made. This has been going on for 30+ years. The funny thing is that over all that time, the basic conclusions have not changed. In that climate change is real, it is in a considerable part caused by us, and it is getting worse.
Are you really so blind? Ice is melting. Sea levels are rising. Even the US military is already spending real money on real impacts of climate change and to prepare for more of them. They are not exactly known for being unpractical pie-in-the-sky people.
But you have to amp up the "we are all going to die" rhetoric don't you?
Nobody listened to "excuse me, I think there might be a small problem that we can get under control if we do a few small corrective actions in the near future".
We are not going to die, of course. Well, we are, but most likely of natural causes. Climate is a slow thing. It will be our grandchildren who suffer the consequences.
The *real* problem here is that we are not in a place where alternate sources of energy to replace fossil fuels with the same or better cost don't exist. The choice then becomes one of reducing our standard of living to reduce our dependence on oil, a process that punishes the poor more because they cannot afford the increased costs. What's the right thing to do? I'm not so sure that dumping oil is the correct path, nor the damage this will do to the ecconomy is worth it.
Agree with you on that again. Alternative energy sources need more research and development, and it will take some time until we have a real alternative to fossil fuels. But that exactly is the reason why we need to start doing that now, not later. Because later might be too late.
And yes, we might have to make a few hard choices about standards of living, or at least ways of living. Why, for example, do millions of people drive for kilometers every day in order to sit at a computer? Telecommuting is one step that can reduce petrol consumption, and might actually raise instead of lower the standard of living. Car sharing and car pooling can also cut into this commuter effect with only a small effect on standard of living.
But private car traffic is also a big strawman. The container ships that bring all our gadgets from China are incredible polluters. Here is one of many articles on the subject. Moving our economy away from extreme globalisation back into local manufacturing would do wonders not just for the job market, but also for the environment. And yes, prices might rise, but people who have jobs again could afford them again. And this is actually easy to do: Pollution is externalised costs. If we can agree to put import taxes on goods based on the pollution their transport created, e.g. make pollution no longer an externalized cost factor, local manufacturing will be economically interesting again. Not for everything, China will probably remain a big factory, but shipping $1 plastic toys around the world will most likely stop being profitable.
That's just some thoughts. Yes, we might have to change how we live. Some of that will take away a few comforts. Some of that can be engineered in a way that actually benefits us, after a short adaption period. Some of that is a question of technology, some of politics, some of economics.
But the "omg, I might have to take a bike to the bakery, let's better not do anything at all" position isn't helping. We need to do something, and we can do a lot before we take considerable impacts to our quality of life. Let's do at least that. Let's start doing easy things, and spend time figuring out how to do the more difficult things in the best way possible.
What's the right thing to do? Stop letting big oil companies manipulate us into discussing if something needs to be done, and start discussing how to do it.