“What motivates me, I confess, is not my concern for future geologists but my belief that this is philosophically a good thing to do because it makes people think about something that they otherwise wouldn’t think about,” Wing said. “I hear this idea from some of my colleagues that science is just supposed to keep its nose to the grindstone. But … like it or not, we are a pimple on the butt of society that’s supposed to do the thinking in some areas. ..."
But in regards to climate change, I want to strategically avoid encouraging anyone to think on geological timescales, and the resigned nihilism of these pieces is regrettable. Yes, climate change will probably define the next several hundred years, push people towards the poles, exacerbate natural disasters, contribute to at least hundreds of millions of deaths, etc., but I genuinely doubt that it wipes out humanity completely.