How and when is the existing unsustainable human society likely to end

How and when is the existing unsustainable human society likely to end if we do not make sufficient changes to make if sustainable?

The most destructive consequences of human activities are now likely to result from global warming caused by greenhouse emissions.   Climate scientists have given us convincing evidence and warnings that global warming if not halted and indeed reversed will break down the stability and viability of the life-support environment we have enjoyed for the past 10,000 years on this planet.  The first effects of climate change are already seriously affecting many parts of the world and are the most likely underlying causes of changes in monsoon rain patterns etc. resulting in food and water scarcity which then result in violence and genocide.

The time-scale on which this will happen if we do nothing to the end greenhouse emissions and other destructive activities is hard to predict because it is a mistake to believe that the processes will be slow and gigve us plenty of warning that action is needed.   Some processes are already accelerating much faster than the climate scientists predicted and this will result in very rapid fundamental changes.

It is a fallacy to believe we can wait decades before anything effective is done.  The urgency is for decisive action NOW to stop greenhouse gas emissions and there is a real risk than we will not do enough quickly enough before the processes accelerate beyond our control.

This brief summary is based on books such as Six Degrees by Mark Lynas and The Last Generation by Fred Pearce (alphabetic by title in the BOOKS category).

Here is James Hansen’s answer (see his latest 2008 publication at DOCUMENTS, alphabetic under Hansen)

 Inter-generational inequity and injustice: when will climate change be a problem?
Some climate impacts are already becoming apparent, including an increase of extremes of the water
cycle (heavier rainfall and floods, but also more intense dry periods and fires), melting of mountain
glaciers with effect on fresh water supplies (once the glaciers are gone, potentially within a few decades if CO2 growth is not halted, the rivers will tend to run dry in the summer and fall), expansion of the subtropics (affecting the Southern United States, the Mediterranean region, Australia and Africa), and shifting of climatic zones (affecting the health of some vegetation and human health through spread of disease vectors).
Such climate impacts will increase over the next few decades, affecting the people who are causing emissions as well as future generations.
However, the most serious effects will be visited upon the young and the unborn, the generations that
bear no responsibility for the problem. The most important effects, I believe, will be those that are
irreversible for all practical purposes, specifically (1) extermination of species, and (2) ice sheet
disintegration and sea level rise. If we continue business-as-usual energy policy, using more and more fossil fuels, it is likely that we will have:
(1) rapid climate change that will combine with other pressures on species to cause the rate of
extinction of plants and animals to increase markedly, leading in some cases to ecosystem collapse,
snowballing extinctions, and a more desolate planet for future generations.
(2) meter-scale sea level rise this century, and ice sheets in a state of disintegration that guarantees
future sea level rise in the 10-meter-scale, with a continual reworking of future global coastlines out of humanity’s control.

The Editor’s SUMMARY CONCLUSION is that, if we do nothing to create a sustainable society, our existing unsustainable society will end with increasing destruction of our life-support systems.   The present relatively slow pace of these processes will accelerate as one after another of the processes go into a rapidly escalating change.  So the time to take effective action now, without further dealy.

To substantiate this summary an expanded set of QUESTION need to be answered which are listed in the AGENDA category 3.0.  Go to: -