At some point we have to ask where is this whole thing is going. 2°C will keep melting ice sheets for centuries likely causing most coast-line cities like New York, Miami and Boston to be abandoned for the potential sea level rise is over 100 feet. As this happens, citizens of that time will be asking why we did not do more. The question is can we, and the answer is yes. How much more depends on intelligence, commitment and morality, and, more than anything else we have to decide what morality is, and how important it is.
We have to decide what our moral commitment is to the future and that brings us to one of the most fundamental questions to face humanity. All of humanity.
Morality does not mean that we just decide to be “good” people. It requires us to decide and then commit to what it means to be a human beinga, and that in turn requires us to decide how we treat and relate to other human beings, especially those not like us, perhaps in color, culture, beliefs and more.
Nature gave us a phenominal gift, and incredibly few of us realize what it is, and we certainly do not appreciate it. Nature created us from the soil of the earth. We began as bacteria and evolved over millions of years to be intelligent and, above all, sentient beings. Most beople have never thought about this. Sentience is experience, it is everything we see, hear, touch feel and the utterly astonishing thing is that two little images on the retinas in our eyes, and two little vibrating ear drums give us all this experience. Science does not know how or why it works. We can know why if we train it and use it for what, I believe, it was intended: to build bonds between us and to experience beauty. No. You won‘t just accept this but I explain more elsewhere and for now it is something to think about.
For this moment, we need to realize that never in the history of humankind has so much been at stake. We have many ways of deciding when our civilization began but for the sake of argument I will choose 5,000 BCE, give or take a few years.
This was about the time when agriculture and writing become part of life, and so the changes from hunter–gatherer societies were enormous. This was not all to the good. A farming diet was inferior because the variety of foods was less. And society now found itself with many unemployed tribal leaders, not a receipe for a nice orderly civilization, and for the most part there never has been one. Tribal warfare continues and even so-called "advanced" societies like the United States have managed to start needless, destructive and disrupting wars. Hardly behavoir appropriate for a ostensubly peaceful nation. And, I believe, an example of self-deception, and opaque thought.
Through all this time the climate was usually not a concern, but as society became more advanced eventually engines that produced power from burning fossel fuels were developed. At the same time a nearly infinite suite of applications for fossel fuels was created. And in the mid-1800s the earth began to warm with almost no one paying attention. By 2000 it was clear disaster was ahead. By 2020 disaster had begun and global warming was now running the show, for the first time since the arrival of man.
There is no point at which any of the graphs turns down to indicate cooling. This would require negative emissions which so far have proved too expensive or have other faults.
Cost is always the limiting factor and it should not be. There is about 13 trillion in disposable income in the world and so there should be no problem in doing negqtive emissions reearch. But there is no one in charge and the man that should be, President Trump has a science IQ that is negative. In other words he knows little and what he knows is wrong.
What happens next is primarily up to the people of the United States.
The best state of what needs to be done is that prepared by MIT. You should read that, listen to and watch the videos for MIT is setting out the course for us to be moral.