Global warming is important, but only one environmental problem, so important to consider here, but not the only environmental issue.
Contributing to every environmental issue, including this one, is overpopulation. Humans have altered every continent, reducing biodiversity, introducing species that don't handle local climates as well, or too well and displace existing ones, making extinct species, and so on. I'm no expert, but the situation in Australia looks related to huge cities and lots of farms supporting a much larger human population than had ever lived there reducing biodiversity and resilience to fire, exacerbated by global warming.
People fear discussing overpopulation because they only know of China's policy and eugenics, as did I until I learned of the successful, non-coercive policies of Thailand, Iran, Mexico, etc that increased peace, prosperity, and stability.
I first learned of successful noncoercive birthrate reducing policies through Alan Weisman's excellent Countdown https://www.amazon.com/Countdown-Last-Best-Future-Earth/dp/0..., and of the critical importance of population through Limits to Growth https://www.amazon.com/Limits-Growth-Donella-H-Meadows/dp/19....
Those examples show that we can peacefully and stably lower birth rate to increase peace and prosperity and ease all other environmental problems. Steady-state following de-growth works more successfully on a full finite planet than pushing economic and population growth forever, which exacerbates problems like these and increases their impact on humans and other wildlife.
They didn't intend to predict but only to reveal patterns. One of the main patterns it found was prosperity in overshoot preceding collapse of population and standard of living. The Cato Institute and Wall Street Journal describing a relatively short time is consistent with the LtG view, but lacks the half-century of accuracy and projection beyond.
WSJ should say about this piece, "Past performance does not indicate future results."
LtG does suggest what could avoid collapse. At this date it basically reduces to everyone doing everything possible, which is still possible. At the top is to change our beliefs and values from pushing growth, faith in technology, and externalizing costs to enjoying what we have and stewardship.
It's not crazy. Having applied it in my life has improved it.
Below are some of the resources i have been using/used:
A brilliant introduction to systems thinking by John Sterman who is a legend in the field.
Systems Concepts In Action by Bob Williams and Richard Hummelbrunner
Research Papers/Book Extracts:
A Definition of Systems Thinking: A Systems Approach by Ross D. Arnold, Jon P. Wade
Soft systems methodology: a thirty year retrospective by Peter Checkland
Guidelines for Drawing Causal Loop Diagrams By: Daniel H. Kim The Systems Thinker, Vol 3, No 1, pp5-6 (Feb 1992)
More at: https://thesystemsthinker.com/
A brief guide to interactive planning and idealized design by Russel Ackoff
Application of soft systems methodology to the real world process of teaching and learning by Nandish V. Patel
An Application of Checkland’s Soft Systems Methodology to the Development of a Military Information Operations Capability for the Australian Defence Force by R. J. Staker
Defining innovation: Using soft systems methodology to approach the complexity of innovation in educational technology by Glenda Cox
The viable system model: A briefing about organisational structure by Raul Espejo
Complex Adaptive Systems by JASON BROWNLEE
Sustainability, complexity and learning: insights from complex systems approaches by A. Espinosa, T. Porter
Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model An Interpretation By Trevor Hilder
Principles of the self-organizing system by W. Ross Ashby
Guidance on applying the viable system model by Sandra Hildbrand Shamim Bodhanya
Embracing Human Experience in Applied Systems-Thinking by José-Rodrigo Córdoba-Pachón
The Need for a Systemic Approach to Change Management—A Case Study by Guangming Cao, Steve Clarke and Brian Lehaney
I have just included titles and authors, not direct download links to the PDF as unsure about copyrights. Some of my copies of the PDF are stamped with the date-time i downloaded. My email is in my profile if you want more.
Everything else was just looking at elements. Technology is important, for example, but exists within a system. They looked at the system. They had to simplify and assume a lot, which the media didn't understand (probably benign ignorance) and critics blew out of proportion (probably maliciously), but I found their approach the most meaningful.
Sadly, I know many people who care about the environment but don't understand the (relatively simple) math in their approach, and many people who understand the math but don't care about the environment, but almost no one who cares and understands. So in about a decade since reading it, I haven't found anyone I can talk to about it meaningfully.
A great companion by one of the authors is Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows -- https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp....Both changed my views more than almost any other books.
Both changed my views more than almost any other books.