- -Population growth pressures agriculture, consumerism, and per-capita-labor rates to go UP.
- -These systems strive to accommodate the market, and so they "grow" by buying more machinery, infrastructure & fuel.
- -Governments skim this economic growth and (clumsily) apply the money to common needs: defense, roads, schools...all promoting more fuel usage.
Petroleum is an excellent fuel for transportation and distilling into various fuels, PLUS an excellent source of long-chain carbon for plastics.
- -To solve the fuel issue, we currently need to move to a (less efficient) battery system and electricity-based fuel. Not easy: energy density, throughput and usage patterns will all be different.
- -To solve the plastics consumption, we probably need to completely re-crack the waste (burning) and capture the stack again - still creating CO2 but at least we're not dumping the plastic into the bellies of fish and birds.
- -To solve the atmospheric issue, we can plant more trees, but we'd need less people, which takes war or disease - an historic eventuality. So really, we have to wait about 1000 years - once we complete the other changes. We're making that change very slowly, so don't start counting down just yet.
To keep that scale in perspective: 1000 years ago we were in a dark age with comparatively ignorant civilizations. 1000 years from now, today will look similar.