In addition to the dislocations and changes in standard of living that are likely outcomes of climate change, there are the fundamental limits to industrial civilization imposed by thermodynamics. I hope these issues can be part of the discussion of what kind of future to embrace.
From Sven E Jorgensen and Yuri M Svirezhev, Towards a Thermodynamic Theory for Ecological Systems, Elsevier, 2004, pages 276-277. [minor grammar edits by dw]
"If we consider the main characteristic features of technological civilisation, we can see that it creates [...] energy and chemical loads. These features are:
(a) the use of the non-biosphere sources of energy (fossil fuels, which are the traces of past biospheres, not replenishable by the current biosphere, and nuclear energy);
(b) technological processes [that] increase concentrations of chemical elements in the biosphere (metallurgy, chemical industry, etc.):
(c) dispersion of chemical elements in comparison with their "biotic" concentrations.
All the above-mentioned processes produce entropy that cannot be 'sucked' out by the biosphere's 'entropy pump'. But since the ecosystem should remain in a dynamic equilibrium with its environment, the entropy production (overproduction) of the ecosystem should be compensated by the outflow of entropy to the environment. This compensation can occur only at the expense of environmental degradation in this, or, maybe, another location, [the degradation being] heat and chemical pollution or [other degradation] caused by mechanical impact on the system. The value of the overproduction (as was shown in Chapter 10) can be used as a criterion for the environmental degradation or as an 'entropy fee', which has to be paid by society (really suffering from the degradation of environment) for the modern industrial technologies. Thus, degradation of the environment is the only way to compensate for the overproduction of entropy. The process of overproduction can be non-homogenous in space and then there is the spatial transportation of entropy. This transportation can be either natural or artificial. The natural process of entropy transportation is realised as the wide spreading of different pollutants by natural agents (wind, rivers, etc.). The artificial process is either a purposeful export of industrial waste to other regions, or the import of low-entropy [material] (for example, fossil fuels) from other regions. So, the main conclusion is:
Sustainable development is possible only locally, and only at the expense of creating 'entropy dumps' elsewhere."