Society loves the goods and services that the technological systems of civilization provide. Heating and cooling, the ease of transportation in cars and airliners together with electronic facilitating of communication are just some of the measures that many people now take for granted. They welcome what the inventors have done and believe the media hype that this benefaction will continue to grow. They look forward to an improving material standard of living.
Society is like a clutch of smokers. It welcomes the short term benefits and discounts the long term consequences of the cancerous activities. Do car drivers fuming in traffic congestion ever think of the fact that the engines are destroying a product that it took natural forces millions of years to create. Some, no doubt, are concerned that the coal power stations that supply their electricity are also contributing to the climate change that is causing some worry - but little action. The increasing frequency of cold spells is only bothersome so long as heating in the home, office and car is still available. How will the Canadian power cable maintenance personnel do their job in the snow when they can no longer get fuel for their snowmobiles or helicopters? Heat waves are hitting aged people hard in countries such as Australia, America and the EU. The situation will become a lot worse when air-conditioning is no longer available.
Quit smoking is sound advice that has been around for a while so some smart people have taken in board. Quit freeloading on what nature provides is even sounder advice but few have sufficient understanding of what civilization is doing wrong to take that advice on board. Consequently, the infrastructure that provides people with the goods and services they currently thrive on is doomed. The people will be bewildered as their life style goes down the plug hole. They cannot envision the disintegration of New York, London, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo and the other cities but their children and grandchildren will experience the horrifying loss of facilities they provide.
Climate change gains some consideration on the media now but its impact will grow exponentially despite the rhetoric of the deniers, even when they are the Australian Prime Minister! Society will eventually encourage industry to quit greenhouse gas emissions but all that will do is slightly reduce the deleterious consequences of the irreversible rapid climate change. This quit campaign is far too late! Most people will have to cope with the impact of rising sea level, loss of sea food due to ocean acidification, more storms, floods, heat waves and cold spells. Coping with manifestations of nature's response to this aspect of what civilization has done wrong will be made harder by the declining availability of natural resources for the operation and maintenance of the technological systems.
So all smart people can do is quit worrying about what will happen to civilization in the future and get on with living life to the full while they can by making frugal use of what nature provides. They will quit being consumers.