Max Brückner’s sketch for the set design of the final scene of Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung.”
We humans are our own Gods, and advancing climate change is the prelude to our own Götterdämmerung. Here then is my speculation (wild ass guess) of a schedule for the possible catastrophic events leading to human (and other) extinction by the year listed, or of those events greatly accelerating its arrival after the years listed.
A nuclear war with Russia within the next 100 years, if such were to occur, could cause our (and others) extinction.
With no prior nuclear war having occurred and no new efforts to curtail CO2 emissions since 2015, the prominent “extinction force” would be runaway global-warming/climate-change leading to a “Hothouse Earth” without glaciers and permanent ice caps:
– which in turn would lead to vast continuous wildfires worldwide;
– shrinking agriculture (from droughts and fires);
– shrinking fishing/aquaculture (from ocean warming, acidification and plastic pollution);
– frequent category 5 hurricanes and typhoons in the tropics
— causing extreme wind and mudslide damage;
– massive eco-collapse refugee streams from tropical latitudes to the north and south;
– continuing anti-immigrant wars by First World Nations against 2nd and 3rd World populations
— (as during the Roman Empire against German tribes),
— on land (e.g., Africa, Mexico), like Israeli military strikes against Gaza;
— on sea (e.g., Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea), the outright sinking of refugee ships;
– the expansion to high latitudes of old and new disease pathogens and parasites,
– American oil war aggression (Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia) to secure hydrocarbon fuel for its vastly expanded military at war continuously worldwide (to repel immigrants/invaders, and get the oil ahead of its other First World rivals doing the same);
– massive die-offs of 3rd World populations, because of inhabitability, starvation, disease and war;
– a “Fortress America,” “Fortress Europe,” etc. mentality, leading to abandoned 3rd World “outlands.”
There would still be humans left, but in a situation of “negative” feedback [where I mean “positive feedback” enhancing effects of negative desirability] as regards increasingly chaotic and deteriorating organized human life/society.
A nuclear war occurring late within this period would likely ensure complete extinction.
Humans surviving after 2300 would probably be “survivors” of the above, and looking forward to a steady slide into “caveman existence,” which is to say living off-the-land and entirely at the whim of environmental conditions, resource availability and climatic forces.
Also, the survivalist individuals in caveman existence would likely have to contend with the universal hostility from other members of their own species.
One possible climatic force could be a new Ice Age initiated by the stopping of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current, which would be caused by the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet, in turn further chilling and freshening – making less salty – the North Atlantic, which effect would stop the AMOC. (I’ve described this physics elsewhere.)
The stopping of the AMOC prior to 2300 would accelerate the schedule of catastrophes and the degradation of habitability for humans (and others).
Please note that humanity is not compelled to follow this schedule. It merely represents my estimate of the logical consequences of the collective attitudes we now hold, and the political, economic, militaristic, sociological, consumption and environmental choices we have made as of today.
As the Old Gypsy Fortune Teller said: “The stars foretell, they do not compel.”