James “Gaia Theory” Lovelock suggests that there may be as few as one billion human beings left in 100 years time:
Lovelock’s point seemed to be that we should give up on trying to save the planet and the entirety of the human species by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and focus instead on equipping “lifeboat nations” with the necessary infrastructure (schools, roads, houses) to support swarms of climate refugees.
The UK and Canada are lifeboat nations, in case you’re wondering. Probably Siberia too. Basically, anywhere that will be relatively cool and have water in a world that is on average 5°C warmer than it was 100 years ago.
Which sounds interesting and… controversial. The suggestion that places like the UK and Canada should massively overinvest in infrastructure over the next few decades may be be Quite A Good Idea in any case (fiscal stimulus, anyone?).
But is this giving up too soon?