I liked reading your cogent and comprehensive post. As you already know I agree with pretty much everything being said. However I take issue with some of your projections for the future and motivations for the present.
Yes it may be crucial for our species to develop more humility but IMO we have waited too long and the window of time has grown too short for that. We may be humbled by that narrowing window of opportunity to effect a non fossil fuel civilization but more as an involuntary action rather than voluntary humility.
We have many and quite direct blindsides and a tendency to homogenize culturally and linguistically but we also have a equal if not greater urge towards creative expression. Moreover much cultural diversity was based on the isolation and limited opportunity of primitive societies. When people never traveled more than fifty miles from their home town in their whole life then people two hundred miles away had a funny accent when they spoke. When everyone spoke Latin in Europe we’d immediately recognize the beginnings of Spanish in the way latin was accented in the province of Hispania. We’d recognize those Gallic accents in Gaulia and so forth. The differences between Italian and Spanish are often a matter of word endings and their pronunciation of basically the same root words. Why did that happen?
It does because even if everyone were a clone and exactly the same then over succeeding generations differences in replication would begin to creep in and those would be passed on to the next generation and so and so on. If everyone started out exactly the same then given enough time then everyone would end up different from each other.
My point wasn’t about the Sixth Extinction or man’s place in it. I was proposing (not advocating) that in a future scenario that humanity could continue to exist even after the Sixth Extinction. It would be like the oceans are our fish farms and the continents of the Earth are our croplands and plantations and wild nature as we know it is long gone. Say 25 billion neighbors? Lions. Tigers and Bears Oh my? Oh gee no room for them no more not anywhere. As far as climate change goes, humans are in the same boat as are the animals but in the end, humans would eat them.
Should humans survive hat is … in our anthropocentric arrogance at the expense of the rest of nature? Should or would becomes can and likely will. You posit a reciprocal diminishment of man and beast (post collapse civilization and damaged ecosystem). Maybe a post wilderness (ancestral) environment (the whole world is one big farm/fish farm/and city. The ultimate anthropocene Earth. Man and only man ( think of a whole planet having a hard time finding a parking spot…sheesh!).
I’m hoping humanity will find a way to spread across the galaxy because even though the rotten kid won’t clean up his room, he’s still our one and only and we want him to succeed in life. My guess that is what our destiny is for. To seed the empty universe (maybe sterile and empty, lifeless…maybe not so lifeless?) with life. I think there is life out there but probably easier parking.
Shifting vast resources? Yeah I hear that a lot. Odd that concept. Solar and wind are technologically simple to operate. Solar especially so. Odd that it is described as needing vast economic resources though. Sure if looked at from a single utility providing it/installing it but kind of no big deal when looked at from the opposite end. Each home owner installs a few solar panels at minimal cost and that’s it. Takes a day or two. Contrast that with years building each nuclear plant etc. To go nuclear would require immensely vast economic resources and likely bankrupt us in the process halfway through.
Idealistic to hope human nature will become less vain and greedy? Yeah well the fact remains that we encourage vanity and greed because we may be smart chimps but chimps we are and vanity and greed are survival traits. Nevertheless we are more than just that too. We love and socialize, we party and laugh, help each other in extremity and so forth.
If people were given plenty of food and the choice to cooperate and they knew everyone would be treated fairly everyone would choose that…
But if they were given the same amount of food (actually more than enough for everyone if they cooperated) and the choice was of only 10% having an excess amount of food and 50% doing with less food in descending order but still having enough and then the bottom 40% having almost enough but then in descending order not having enough then humans would fight like crazy to make sure they were the ones who had enough and not want to share because they didn’t trust each other to share with them.
Think of the first choice. If we created a less greed based civilization then humans would act less greedy. A hungry man hoards food even if he can’t eat it all before some of it spoils. To have more than we need is comforting. Ask any billionaire.
If we knew that we wouldn’t risk doing without… we wouldn’t be so obsessed with having more than we need. A solar and wind based civilization might actually be a lot more fun to live in because everyone would be richer.