Way back in the early Sixties I used to enjoy watching the puppets of Space Patrol. The crew of Galasphere 347, human captain Larry Dart, Venusian Slim, Martian Husky and the Gabblodictum Bird maintained law and order in the Solar System.
Sadly, the passage of time suggested neither Slim nor Husky nor the Gabblodictum Bird could exist. Venus was shown to be hellishly hot at 450°C, with a very slow rotation rate equivalent to 243 Earth days. Not much chance for Slim or anything vaguely humanoid to survive, although maybe some extremophile bacteria might make it.
However recent research ( https://www.newscientist.com/article/2197640-venus-may-have-had-a-climate-suitable-for-life-billions-of-years-ago/) suggests Venus once had a faster rotation rate, large oceans and thick cloud cooling the planet. Ideal conditions for Slim, even if it was a little early for him to meet Captain Dart. If that is correct what led to the current environment, inimical to life, at least as we know it? It could be natural change, perhaps the oceans eventually slowed rotation down? But in the light of our truly awful prospects it is difficult not to wonder if under those beautiful clouds engines were roaring away pumping out carbon, and Venusian politicians were busy avoiding facing the truth in order to hang on longer to their privileged way of life. It certainly suggests that a beautiful planet in the golden area where the sun is not too close, and not too far away, can turn into a boiling dry desert all too easily.
At the Climate Forum run by Liverpool Greens, Friends of the Earth and Extinction Rebellion I was very struck by the high quality of the evidence for global warming. By lots of measures the planet is heating up at a terrifying speed and yet global military and commercial competition drives all politics. I assume in my scenario above the Venusians also saw growth as the only measure of success.
If we are going to change things in a very short time we need to give up so much, so quickly —much less air travel, much less vehicle use, by extension much less visits to distant relatives and friends, no meat or dairy because those animals are pushing out methane, less plastics and all the rest. Is it time for a politician who is a leader to step forward and tell us, to avoid the torrid fate of Venus, she can promise us nothing but blood, sweat and tears until climate change is in reverse, and put policies in place which reflect that? Appeals to our better natures will not cut it on a 12 year horizon.
PS if you feel the need to try Space Patrol as an escape from Brexit try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7us8T0b4kw