Your second plot is log vs. linear, so it implies things like "If you want to move from Hungary/Uruguay/Costa Rica levels of 'social progress' (~80) to U.S. levels (~85), it'll take somewhere around 10x as much energy consumption." Talk about diminishing returns. That said, if we're only ~85 (whatever that means), yikes, that's still not high enough, maybe we're underestimating the value of and need for social progress. That said, social well-being is like some weird cultural beast that evolves outside of all reason and most attempted influencings. Good luck scaling it numerically.
Turns out plasma fusion is hard, and I'm increasingly convinced that solar is The Way, in combination with better battery tech. Still, I think magnetic confinement fusion has its place in our hierarchy of energy needs, especially for the human-occupied spacecraft of the future. But yeah, if that's true, I might opt to switch industries in a few years to press back on our most pressing problems.
Edit: Uhhh. OK. OK so imagine... imagine if we built some sort of fraction of a Dyson shield (around the Earth)? Like we had some honeycomb shell architecture orbiting in LEO, which, for a while, was going at LEO orbit speeds, but was then maybe de-spun. Like for a few years you'd just get split-second solar eclipses semi-randomly every few minutes before they de-spin. After the de-spin, water is stored in the shadows. Maybe it could get that batshit to block the sun. Mirror arrays put into orbit and despun. Edit2: This would not work well for big (>~1 km diameter, I guess?) honeycomb mirrors, the turbulence near the edges of the shadows would create crazy winds... unless that was intentional..? Thanks, it won't get quite that batshit, but thanks again
We may not be able to count on a volcanic event within 2100, and if the event is large enough to meaningfully curb global warming, it might be a detrimental event for the planet on its own, maybe even equivalent to the cumulative ill effects of climate change at the time.