bdog wrote:Heck even 2050 is too far away, too theoretical for most people to consider it with a sense of urgency.
I don't really consider 2050 "with a sense of urgency".
But in 2050 my daughter will be about the age that I am now. For the sake of argument, just temporarily assume that burning fossil fuels will make the world a significantly worse place in 2050. That's not some unimaginable time in the future, that's when my daughter will be in the middle of her career, raising a family, or whatever. This might not be particularly meaningful to you, but it definitely affects how I think about long-term issues like climate change.
Also, I do remember 1976, which is as far away from us as 2050. A lot happened in the 1970s that shaped the world of 2013.
As one example, a military coup in Afghanistan in 1978 was followed by a Russian invasion. The US responded by sponsoring a guerrilla war, using a bunch of fighters from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, and elsewhere as proxy soldiers. As the war wound down, they renamed themselves "The Base", or "Al Qaeda" in Arabic. This in turn led to 9/11, the post-9/11 climate of fear in America, the 2002 elections, the Iraq war, the Afghan war, trillions of dollars in debt, too many lives lost, and who knows what future effects.
I don't think we should live life gripped by uncertainty over what effects our actions will have 37 years in the future. But it's also stupid to think that the future will never come. It will, and the things we do now will determine what it looks like.