"...we are currently in a lag - a moment in time after we were confronted with the reality of CC and before we started to change course"
That is not a fact. That is something you believe based on no evidence.
All evidence (aka history) points in the opposite direction. People have never chosen to voluntarily decrease their living standard. They have fought or emigrated, and now, there's no where left to go.
Why do I "insist on dragging the rest of us down into [my] dismal place"? For one thing, I have an affinity for the truth and also, you can't solve a problem if you downplay how serious it is…nor if you are, like the blind people feeling parts of the elephant, missing the whole picture.
In this interview about tipping points, Michael Mann does an excellent job integrating climate science with the geologic past, something not done often enough.
He brings up the contribution of pollution pushing ecosystems over the edge. He says some scientists see that happening within a decade or two.
Can humans live without an ecosystem?
He said: "Climate change is one of the most serious contributing factors". He does not say it is the only contributing factor or even the preeminent factor.
"What that means is that we are subjecting living things to rates of change that they simply haven't evolved to deal with…rates of change that are well outside of what we might reasonably call the adaptive capacity of ecosystems, of species AND OF HUMAN BEINGS…of human civilization."
He says the potential abrupt release of methane from permafrost soils and coastal shelves could amount to more than doubling the forcing humans have cumulatively caused so far.
At the beginning of the interview Thom Hartmann defines a mass extinction event as the disappearance of more than 3/4 of all species in a short period of time. In an earlier (9/26 "Global Warming to claim half a billion people soon") segment, he points out that in a mass extinction, ALL of the top predators - like us - vanished, or nearly vanished.
In response to this, Michael Mann replied:
"We are already in the midst of one of the greatest extinction events of all time in the entire history of the world."
Is Michael Mann an "alarmist", dragging you down to his dismal place?