We are not stupid. We are not uncaring. We are not unique. We are not "fill in the blank" with your word.
The solution goes like this.
1] To reach space with self-sufficient colonies every being in the universe must have fossil fuels. Only with the concentrated energy of fossil fuel (=FF) is it possible to get out of the gravity well of your planet.
2] Once the beings have the ability to use FF, their mind set will change. If one culture doesn't maximize its use then others will out compete it and the 1st will be crushed by those who do maximize use.
3] The result on all planets is about 3% growth rate in use of FF once they discover FF.
4] This doubles the use of FF every 24 years.
5] For humans this means 3 doublings in a 72 year lifetime. Three doublings is going from 10 units used/24 years to 80 units used/24 yr.
6] Mathematically, this means that if you can keep the 3% growth going until there is none left, you will use half of the amount you started with during the last 24 yr. [For example, if you start with 64 units, then 1+1+2+4+8+16+32 = 64. Yes, I had them get off to a slow start to get 64 and not 63. No matter how much you start with you will use half of that amount in the last doubling time.]
7] At some point you will have burned enough FF to cook your planet. Your civilization will not be able to grow enough food. It will break down in food riots, and wars to survive. The use of nuclear weapons is likely. The environment will be so damaged that only hunting and gathering is possible, and only in a few select locations. Or, your species will go extinct. It will take over 100K to 500K years for nature to cool the planet. By then your advanced knowledge will have all been lost.
8] There is always cultural momentum. Some will see the end in time (like I did in 1973) to avoid it, but the rule that if we don't max. use, others will and they will replace you, still holds. So, the masses can never be convinced fast enough. In the case of humanity, even now 50 years after I saw the problem, not enough have been convinced. Worldwide we must impose rationing now to slash FF use, or the 5+ deg/ C world will happen by 2099, because of Arctic releases of methane that we can't stop. In the end it is not the CO2 we emit; it will be the CH4 that is triggered by that tipping point that gets us to 5 deg. C higher temps. So, I predict that we will not act soon AND fast enough.
The fact that we can't detect any spacefaring beings which would certainly be emitting a huge amount of radiation, pretty much, proves my conclusion.
So, I'm grateful that I lived in the best years humanity ever can have. I just wish that the 1% in America would let the younger generations live as well as possible for the last many years before TSHTF.
The link to what triggered this for me. =>
==> My final words on this are; "in the long run you will discover that there is no long run."