Fundamental change is required to avoid this ghastly future. Specifically, we and many others suggest:
- abolishing the goal of perpetual economic growth
- revealing the true cost of products and activities by forcing those who damage the environment to pay for its restoration, such as through carbon pricing
- rapidly eliminating fossil fuels
- regulating markets by curtailing monopolisation and limiting undue corporate influence on policy
- reigning in corporate lobbying of political representatives
- educating and empowering women across the globe, including giving them control over family planning.
Don’t look away
Many organisations and individuals are devoted to achieving these aims. However, their messages have not sufficiently penetrated the policy, economic, political and academic realms to make much difference.
Failing to acknowledge the magnitude and gravity of problems facing humanity is not just naïve, it’s dangerous. And science has a big role to play here.
Scientists must not sugarcoat the overwhelming challenges ahead. Instead, they should tell it like it is. Anything else is at best misleading, and at worst potentially lethal for the human enterprise.