Let me start with the important Assumption Zero: I do not think the world is doomed. I don’t think humans are doomed. I don’t even think most humans are doomed. I do think that life is going to change a lot in the next century. Gradually.
First: Climate change, caused by human activity, is real. I can’t imagine that there’s anyone reading this who doesn’t agree with that statement, but it’s worth putting out there. First and a half: There are people who do not get this. I don’t know how to deal with people who don’t understand or “believe” this, and I’m honestly not going to expend much effort on trying. There are other people doing good work in that area; it’s not my thing.
Second: There are many people who understand that this climate crisis is real, but who don’t care. This may be because they don’t believe it will affect them (not in their lifetimes, not in their geographical area, not in their income bracket, etc), or because they see short-term gain in it.
Third: There is an even larger number of people - probably a majority of humans, by now - who understand that the climate crisis is real, but don’t know what they can do about it.
Fourth: Individual effort will not have much effect on the actual changes that are happening, either in attempts to prevent them or in attempts to mitigate them. That rests with corporate entities and governments, and particularly with governments forcing corporate entities to change.
Fifth: We are not, at this stage, going to be able to prevent the climate crisis. Processes of global warming, with all its knock-on effects, are already under way, and we haven’t any realistic hope of preventing that. We may be able to slow it down, if governments force corporate entities to change. The miracles of technology necessary to prevent it needed to happen about a decade ago, and they didn’t.
Sixth: We can prepare for the coming changes. We can work out what they might be; we can look at second-order changes (changes caused by changes) and emergent effects (complex effects arising from simple changes). We can change things in our own lives and those of people around us so that those changes don’t do as much damage as they otherwise would.
Seventh: We can put pressure on government to get on with forcing corporate entities to change, and also to get on with making preparations for the inevitable effects of the climate crisis.
Gentle Decline, as a project, deals mostly with the sixth and seventh assumptions. and attempts to keep abreast of the actual events in the fifth.