Hell-Bent for Abzar
This is a diary I never really wanted to write, because the thoughts in it are almost suicidally depressing.
In H. Beam Piper's Paratime Patrol stories, he posits three outcomes for the human race. The one in which his stories are set is a low-probability lucky accident in which paratime travel is discovered just in time to salvage humanity from one of the other two fates.
The "better" of the bad outcomes is designated as the "Dwarma sector", where a handful of survivors renounced technology, progress, curiosity, privacy, and interpersonal confrontation to live a Neolithic (at best) lifestyle where every day is exactly like every other and everyone's business is everyone else's business. The occasional Paratemporals who vacation there think this is "quaint" and "charming" and the people are "so gentle" but such incurable busybodies that about a week there is long enough. (The Dwarma folk are probably also on a slow drift toward extinction, but that point is never raised.)
The Paratemporals generally forget about the Abzar sector, because there is literally nothing there. No human life, no animal life, nothing - just bare empty sands between crumbling buildings. The people there fought each other for the last crumb, the last grub, the last drop of water - and then they all died. (The air remains breathable, so perhaps some unicellular life survived in the oceans.)
Back in the real world, where paratemporal travel is not an option, we have an outside chance, at best, of achieving a Dwarma-like existence based on only renewable materials and whatever scraps of metal can be scrounged from the ruins.
We are far more likely to follow the Abzar path -- and destroy ourselves and all other living things. Even the oceans might be barren of life by the time we are done with them. No future space visitors, should there be any, would believe that this lifeless globe with its toxic atmosphere could ever have been the home of an intelligent species.
And perhaps they would be right.
PS: Piper committed suicide.