Let me start by saying that climate change is real and it’s caused by humans. We’re already seeing early impacts of it in changes in rainfall, floods, droughts, and more severe or frequent heat waves. Of all the gloom and doom predictions I hear about the future of the world or the economy, I think climate change offers the most existential threat. It’s important we take it seriously as a human race.
That said, it’s also important to acknowledge the resiliency, resolve, and adaptability of the human race. My mom tells me a story about a popular movement in the seventies called “zero population growth” (ZPG). With oil and gas shortages and an exponentially increasing population, there was a fear that the world couldn’t sustain many more people and we would have to find a balance in the birth and death rates to achieve zero population growth.
When ZPG was founded, the world’s population was about 3.5 billion. It has since more than doubled to about 8 billion. In broad strokes the earth seems capable of supporting the population. The ZPG group itself has even renamed itself to focus more on justice and human rights.
While climate change still does represent an existential threat, we have to credit humanity for already taking some steps in the right direction. The drops we’ve seen thus far in CO2 emissions have come from wind and solar power replacing coal, natural gas, and rising fuel economy in cars. These changes have largely been driven by legislation, which is ongoing with goals to cut emissions even further.
We’ve done it before too. Remember the ozone crisis in the 90s? That was real, but we actually have largely resolved it with the ozone hole declining in size since 2006.
So while it’s critical to take matters of environment and sustainability seriously, we should also be optimistic about the resolve of the human race going forward. I think those index funds are gonna be worth a lot more in a few decades.
Sources: nasa.gov, epa.gov, noaa.gov, science.org
As always, reminding you to build wealth by following the two PFC rules: 1.) Live below your means and 2.) Invest early and often.