This Earth Day, the big news is the signing of the Paris Climate Accord. I'm a climate pessimist, having observed for all-too-long the fact that corporations are willing to scuttle their long-term prospects in the service of next quarter's profits. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is a bit more optimistic than I am:
“The era of consumption without consequences is over. We must intensify efforts to decarbonize our economies. And we must support developing countries in making this transition. The poor and most vulnerable must not suffer further from a problem they did not create.”
There is an entire industry dedicated to derailing efforts to decarbonize our economies, and the 'Masters of the Universe' who control the fossil fuel industry would rather burn the planet down than to submit to regulation.
I've been posting about this subject for years, and it seems like nothing has changed. This sponsored inertia isn't going to destroy the planet, but it'll probably destroy our planet, and we're going to take a lot of beautiful, interesting species down with us.
I believe that there are solutions to the problem of climate change... or at least mitigations. An array of 'alternate' energy sources should be put on a development 'fast track' with generous subsidies (which are now squandered on fossil fuel industries). More energy efficient appliances, vehicles, and habitations should be adopted. Carbon sequestration methods (even something as simple as reforestation) should be put in place. Moving towards a 'carbon neutral' economy isn't an easily accomplished goal, but it sure as hell beats a global environmental catastrophe.
I wish I could be more sanguine about this topic, but it's not that easy to pull off a hard-but-not-fatal landing when billions of dollars are spent to ensure that H. sapiens remains on a nose-dive of a course.