Diamond talks about how rich cultures can save their own resources and uses Japan as an example. The US is another. The forests in the NorthEast have been reestablishing since the advent of large commercial farming. You can see old stone fences in what, to our eye, looks like a mature forest. For one thing we don't really know what 'wilderness' looks like. Dad took me to Cook State Park near Erie once. That is a small patch that missed the loggers saw. Huge trees here on the East Coast, really changes your sense of scale.
Try driving from NYC to Chicago and realize that every single tree over your entire vista was cut, by hand saw.
Now however the US is loosing its wealth, in the sense of PO. Cheap calories have allowed us to develop the temperate zones where heat is a necessity. And we have a large housing investment that was designed for a time of cheap calories, inefficient at heating. While we CAN build houses that are very efficient we CAN NOT replace our existing housing stock.
As PO gains ground I fear we will see a return to natural wood for heating, which will further pollute the air and destroy the forests and the ground there under. Think Haiti on steroids. The only alternative is if something else thins the population first.
In any case the population will thin drastically. But then will it thin enough to allow Nature to recover? Or will we have enough marginal population to keep the ground stripped? Or, perhaps, we will create a Venus atmosphere where both sides are loosers as Hansen fears.
When going through hell, keep going! Churchill
Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much. E Wiman
I know there’s no solution, so I just enjoy what’s here and I enjoy the journey G Carlin