…Unfortunately for humanity, the doomer perspective is correct; it is the fork in the road metaphor that is flawed.
It would be more accurate to portray humanity’s recent evolution as a journey on a highway that offers ever-increasing wellbeing along the way—as our population and material living standards diverge increasingly from sustainable levels—and that culminates in societal collapse at the end—when Nature can no longer support the ever-increasing natural resource and natural habitat overexploitation that enable our ever-increasing wellbeing.
Along the highway are a series of exits—say 100 exits for the sake of argument—any of which will return us to a sustainable existence, but each of which involves increasingly severe lifestyle disruptions—population level and material living standard reductions—as we proceed on our evolutionary journey.
…We can still choose to exit the highway, thereby partially mitigating the apocalyptic lifestyle disruptions that await us if we choose instead to experience societal collapse at the end of the road. But we can no longer exit at Exit 10, or Exit 50, or even Exit 90—we passed those exits in our unceasing quest to improve the material living standards.