Our greenhouse gas emissions will stick around long enough to prevent the next ice age 50,000 years from now, and emitting more of them could well prevent more ice ages much deeper in the future. One could reasonably argue that ice ages are bad news for Canada and northern Europe, because having your landscapes bulldozed by mile-thick slabs of ice amounts to total environmental obliteration.
…When new ice ages start to roll around in 130,000 AD and beyond, our descendants will then have the option, if they so choose, of burning some of those fossil fuel reserves in order to warm the planet enough to prevent the ice sheets from forming. Of course, we can only guess whether they’ll do so or not, but at least we won’t have made the decision for them. So there you have it; one more, only half-joking reason to stop our fossil fuel emissions.
…Climate change is not going to kill every last one of us; humans are too resilient for that, having lived everywhere from floating sea ice to burning deserts for thousands of years even without modern technology and despite massive, abrupt environmental shifts of natural origin. In addition, regions such as Greenland may actually become more habitable to humans in a warmer world, offering refuges to at least some remnant populations.