One of the books recommended at the end of Spin, The Life and Death of Planet Earth, by Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee, shows you what the Spin protects the Earth from. The book has an interesting structure, telling the creation and history of our world by mirroring it in the future.
From such a cosmic perspective, the human impact seems tiny. The book argues that global warming will at most barely delay the next Ice Age. It also calculates that even before humans came along, the Earth was already past the peak of diversity of life. Since most species only last a few million years, our children will cease to be human long before the end of all life, the evaporation of the oceans, and the Sun frying whatever cinders are left. It’s all horribly depressing. So you better carpe diem right now.
A good introductory book on cosmology.
Next week: Cheer up! We’re made of stars and we drink comets.