it was an attempt to postulate a littoral link between the warnings on cigarette packets and fuel pumps. I took that to be obvious.

I find that the minimum number of words, set correctly, grabs most attention.

burning 100m years of fossilised sunlight in about 250 years is set on course to extinguish meaningful life as we know it, killing the planet in the sense that it can support humankind. The planet itself is indifferent to the fate of those inhabiting its surface.

Hydrocarbon fuel provides the means by which 7.4 bn live here, whereas our pre-industrial population was around 1bn. This is not ‘irrational thinking’ as you suggest, but facts as they stand. Without hydrocarbon fuel input, things will not be “a little difficult” — 6bn people won’t have a future at all, because humankind has pulled off the neat trick of turning petroleum into food.

This does not overstate what we face, because to compound this problem the vast majority remains convinced that

a — — “they” will fix things

b — — that prosperity can be voted into office.

So “doing something” appears to advocate one of the above. Global warming through hydrocarbon consumption is now established, yet our entire economy is predicated on consumption of hydrocarbons. We might agree this is not a good idea, but fail to grasp the point that we have 20 years (maybe less) to alter direction to prevent runaway catastrophic changes that will wreck our living environment by the end of the century.

Any changes will be violently resisted, because they will affect each of us financially. This again, is human nature. We will not surrender willingly what we have. We think of it as “normal” yet change will come, by force of circumstance.

I wish the above wasn’t the truth. I would prefer viable alternatives.

co-author of The End of More, in paperback and kindle on Amazon email

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