We should recognize that if global warming is an automatic consequence of capitalism, we might as well say goodbye to each other. I would like to overcome capitalism, but it’s not in the relevant time scale. Global warming basically has to be taken care of within the framework of existing institutions, modifying them as necessary. That’s the problem we face.
When we turn to human nature, the first thing to remember is that we know essentially nothing about it. It’s what I work on all the time. There’s a few small areas where there’s some understanding of cognitive human nature and very little about the rest. It’s all surmise.
If it is true that human nature is incapable of dealing with problems developing over a longer term, if that’s a fact about the way humans are structured and organized, we can, again, say goodbye to one another. So let’s assume it’s not the case.
Then we work within a set of parameters. The fundamental institutions are not going to change in time. Human nature allows the possibility of thinking about what’s going to happen in a couple of decades, even centuries. Assume all that.
Then we turn to solutions. And there are solutions within that set of assumptions. So let’s proceed and work on them. If those assumptions happen to be wrong, tough for the human species. It’s what we have.