Our membership in the animal kingdom comes with the ability to predict that loss of habitat will cause the functional extinction of our species, as with other animals. Such a loss of habitat will make us functionally extinct. Shortly thereafter, our species will disappear from Earth. Those who choose to live in artificial “habitats” such as belowground bunkers will experience an environment rich in ionizing radiation as nuclear power plants melt down uncontrollably, unstable local temperatures, increasing inability to secure clean water and healthy food, and other significant challenges to the continuation of human life.
This current paper describes a few means by which Earth could lose all habitat for Homo sapiens, a process that is already under way. Human extinction likely was triggered when Earth exceeded 2 C above the 1750 baseline. After all, an “increase of 1.5 degrees is the maximum the planet can tolerate; … at worst, [such a rise in temperature above the 1750 baseline will cause] the extinction of humankind altogether” (Gaub, 2019). In other words, human extinction likely is guaranteed with no further degradation of planetary habitat in the future.
Although the future of humanity might be short and unpleasant, this is no reason for despair. All adults know we will die. Similarly, we have long known that all species go extinct. Our character is defined by how we live in light of the terminal diagnosis we were given at birth.