In part one, I considered the possibility that my dad (who turned 75 this year) may have enjoyed a life of the greatest prosperity ever recorded -- and ever to be recorded.
My basic premise is not that we are "running out of resources," but that we are pushing the environment beyond its capacity to absorb our waste.
In the course of the conversation, I came up with an analogy:
Imagine that humans are playing football on various fields. Different tribes are running around on their various fields, enjoying the game, improving their skills as they compete.
Soon, they begin to tour (trade) with each other. The gains from trade make everyone better off, by raising the quality of the game and allowing certain tribes to specialize. The fields are still in good shape because humans are just running around.
Now they begin to use advanced technology to improve their game. They mine for resources (e.g., oil) that can be used for better equipment, more and better food, training centers, flying from one field to another. As this technology advances under the dual influences of competition and pursuit of a better game/lifestyle, some oil is spilled on the fields. As those parts of the field die, players concentrate their efforts on remaining fields -- increasing the load that they must bear.
Some people want to slow down the game or clean up the spills, but others are more interested in maximizing their potential, scoring more than others, etc.
So, the environment is like those fields. Will the game end because we destroy fields beyond repair; will we be able to make artificial fields; will we just play on smaller and smaller areas -- abandoning the damaged parts; or can we try to recover the fields -- if it's not too late?
Bottom Line: Will we recover, or will we face destruction from six degrees of warming?