In the US (and much of the industrialized world) morbidity is higher than fertility. We are not replacing ourselves. I won’t delve into the sociological details here, but rather the pragmatic ones. Historically, those countries with large numbers of available labor progressed the fastest. Today, the labor in those countries is declining (the countries with increasing labor would include Indonesia, India, Ethiopia, as examples).
That means we need an intelligent management of technology and immigration to compensate for declining labor (both physical and mental). However, if we continue to have unintelligent immigration policies, to place the wisdom of the elderly on dusty shelves, to marginalize minorities and ethnicities, and to engage in gender discrimination, the future is going to be quite bleak.
We can handle even severe challenges if we have the talent and energy to do so, and not dissipate it with special interests and agendas and prejudices. The traditional sources of values transmission—the dinner table, schools, religious institutions—have disappeared or lost credibility. Congress is certain not a role model for any kind of unified direction or consensus building.
It’s not about climate, it’s about whether we can climb out of this. We’re in a Dickensian novel.