A grade school study of the biological, geological and evolutionary history of the Earth reveals that many different phases in the changing surface conditions of this planet resulted in the development and domination of that environment by lifeforms ranging from insects, invertebrates, amphibians and fish to mammals, reptiles and birds. Many of us can go out our back door to verify the variety of life that exists in our own time frame and the vast differences in each of them. Each creature may be vastly different in composition and function than the others, but all are subject to the same area (environment) and time frame.
The environment (the area) and what is in it are key to the survival and continued survival and development of any given species. This is also somewhat easy to follow as we, as a species, do not live well in areas where there is no food or water, for example, without major shifts in how we treat or react to that environment. So environmental factors combined with species interaction seem to be key to species survival, at least in terms of human survival.
It is in the interactions with the environment that species can run into trouble. Some species thrive and some do not. Some species are victims of catastrophic events (i.e., disease, meteor impacts, flooding) which make it impossible for those species to survive in that area. This is evidenced by the mass extinctions widely spoken of by all paleontology experts in the claim that mass extinctions have taken place throughout the history of life on Earth.
Some of those catastrophic events can even be caused by dominant species at the time, such as the effects of overgrazing, overpopulation and even over-hunting. Each type of overage causing an imbalance in the natural order at the time. Some species continuing to survive others able to take advantage and thrive more than previously, others wane into non-existence and extinction. This natural order itself shifts its key niche holders all of the time if we consider the totality of time that life has had to develop and take advantage or suffer from disadvantages in any given environment along the way.
With regard to our part in Global Warming, we are simply another species. We will die out or survive in accordance to our interactions with our environment. So far all of the other species are not doing so well compared to us. That is simply because it has become our nature to be exploiters of the environment. We are the only species on the planet that actively and exclusively exploits the environment to suit our needs with little to no regard for the need for us to change for the environment to serve us. In other words, all other species by virtue of living in the environment directly seem to change their survival strategies or tactics in accordance with the materials offered in a given environment. We are not happy with that so we combine those materials into compounds which are not of the Earth and in a sense change the very nature of creation to suit our needs.
If you have a species that does that kind of interacting with where they live, there can only be one outcome. The destruction of the natural elements of the Earth in favor of non-natural elements means a shift in balance with a quantity of unnatural substances being discarded as time goes by. The area of the supportive environment shrinks and is actively used up as well. The environment will logically change into something that will not be supportive of us. It will be supportive of other lifeforms as the necessary building blocks for life and the necessary mechanisms for evolving are already in place, but that dominant lifeform would no longer be us.
Do we make changes in policy and try to stop or slow down this process? If you need medical attention do you seek it or do you not seek it? There is just one question to answer. How long does one want the human species to thrive? Policy that only seeks to better economic forecasts and streamline political decisions are only targeted at the immediacy of a given politician’s office. As a species, we need to think and act with more future focus than that if we want to survive longer. Some beliefs hold that we are immortal of spirit, but not many hold that we are immortal of body. Everything dies. We just need to figure out how long we wish to be here and if the exploiters of the present merit the rewards they earn for the destruction of the very planet that all of the known and even a lot of yet unknown species live on and rely on.