There are evangelical churches growing like kudzu and climate warriors almost resigned to extinction and fantasy draft league players handicapping for next year and retirement advisors suggesting more 401-k contributions while the financial system continues to stagger with a load of debt that will never be repaid. There's not much agreement on what's important to do right now. And not too many thinking about where we might be going as a society. Growth forever is not an option but I suppose the secret universal opinion is maybe it will last until about 2025 and then we can get serious about a sustainable economic system? I am convinced we should have started working the problem 40 years ago.
What's the deal with "peak oil"? It hasn't peaked yet despite some claims back in 2005 that it had. We spent a lot of "money" to frack for it and developed an expensive method of recovering the last vestiges of remaining oil that kept the production of it high. There may be- no gas- one fine day but it seems more likely that it would just get more expensive for a few years before it disappeared. And a sudden TEOTWAWKI is like, "Inconceivable?" Can we limp along for 25 years or are we looking at shortages within 5 years? Are our leaders helping or clueless? Do we have a society or is everyone on their own?
The Earth is heating up. The CO2 levels are definitely increasing. Is Miami going to be underwater in 10 years or will there still be 1,500 flights a day from Heathrow? Will food still be "cheap" (for me) in 5 years with basic foodstuffs and specialty provisions like year round raspberries, Burgundy wines, and Wagu beef if I was so inclined? If I was going to retire in 2 years, is it reasonable to plan a top ten world golf courses vacation or should I buy a farm and a mule? What should I do politically? I have a representative who is very supportive of the MIC because it generates a lot of jobs. He hates government spending except for defense: the government should buy evermore drones and missiles, build more rockets for space exploration, fight terrorists everywhere, and maybe even send the army to the border to stop illegal immigration.
I think we should stop illegal immigration. I am not convinced that the government really cares.
I believe our leaders are over-matched by circumstances, short term thinkers, completely corrupted by their paymasters, and unable to conceptualize and solve even one simple problem facing us.
We are facing a banquet of consequences to a lot of bad decisions. What "leader" will please say this? Renewable energy will not power the future at the level we have come to expect. The Arctic IS melting. The Amazon rain forest is big but not infinite and it is BURNING. If we thought fewer people on the planet was a good idea--what do we do about those already here who have not had their children, like my 3 children?
Insects are having a hard time. I don't see as many on my windshield. I just heard birds were down 30% in the last 50 years. Is growth good or does it have some "costs"?
But it is another college football season and I see a plethora of games with 100,000 spectators in the stands. People care about something. I could argue they are escapists. Traffic is horrendous so a lot of people are going somewhere. I fly infrequently but when I do, it's packed. Shopping malls used to be crowded but they seem a lot emptier than I recall but of course Amazon HAS to be sucking some oxygen out of the room. There's a reason Bezos is the richest man in the world. Most have become ruined infrastructure. The remaining clean and flashy department stores have less merchandise.
But drinking is definitely in. Perhaps it was never out but it's now a destination activity. Epicureanism rules. Wine bars. Craft beer. Single malt. There are so many restaurants that people only eat at home half the time. Food places that are "in" bloom and shrivel. There's a lot of creativity given over to eating and drinking.
Politics is like howling at the moon. Conversation a lost art. People go on a website/twitter/FB to vent, preach, or proselytize. But you would never ask your neighbor if more or less military spending was a good idea or if 9/11 was a false flag. Local politics is for the affected. Our city council chambers holds maybe 100 people. Maybe we should voice vote at football games when 100,00 are in attendance?
Voting is like spitting for managing fluid levels in your body. What do conservatives wish to conserve? Certainly not the environment. Perhaps our history of rapacious change? Why do they side with American Empire? More money for the defense establishment. They think big government is the problem, not big business. Those innocent masters of the universe are just trying to make an honest buck. And besides The underclass is lazy, give the work to Filipino and Vietnamese workers--screw the working class-who needs 'em?
Progessives think deplorables need an education to thrive. Borrow from a friendly banker and plead for a job interview when finished. Everyone can be a rocket scientist and architect. Those backpacks full of loans slow all the young people down enough to manage them effectively. The welfare class and working class have no idea about their own best interests and need a little SJW assistance. And Democrats are the warmongers now--why? When did the CIA become the good guys?
More than ten years ago I identified 4 issues: Energy, Economy, Environment, and Immigration as being central to having a Future. We have tripled debt and addressed none of them effectively. It is arguable that Energy from fracking HAS increased production but not really addressed the problem of fossil fuel dependence. So what now?
Let's talk about Reality. Let's take a stab at Truth. The USA with 5% of the world's population uses 25% of the world's resources. This has been true for 40 years. Do we have any interest in including the rest of the world in the modernity project or are we content to pay the army and keep the status quo reach for Empire? So if we elect to pursue justice we are committing to some austerity. Oh, you mean you think more growth for everyone is possible? Or is growth for US possible at the expense of everyone else and we shouldn't really worry about THEM. We will call that Fortress America. So we take our African safaris with armed guards and forego wandering around Cuzco before heading up to Machu Pichu. And if our days of growth are behind us--how exactly are we to arrange the deck chairs of our civilization?
Since inequality is increasing I am assuming Inequality is the plan. The rich get positioned to stay rich while a lot of people go hungry. I make no argument that 7 billion people is not sustainable but it could be a meager existence. There will be a line drawn under a certain quintile and the under won't have the wherewithal to continue. Whether they wise up at that point and pitchfork the overlords is unknown. The rich may turn out to be smarter than us and have made arrangements with the army and police....
Who are the rich? How many people in the USA have more than $50 million dollars(.1%)? About 50,000. There are about 15 million net worth millionaires which isn't surprising if a normal house in Santa Barbara is $1 million...
A currency reset is expected. It will be at least an order of magnitude re-evaluation. Simple millionaires will be left with $100,000 (or less) and lack a retirement option. The 50,000 will still be effectively rich. The poor will still be poor--10% of a thousand bucks is $100 bucks and you still have to go to work tomorrow. So now is it clear why the rich are bringing in the sheeves and stacking them in their own barn?
Can we blame anyone for this state of affairs except for ourselves, our own stupidity about skipping the political organizing and the boring meetings and hitting the tailgate parties? Many blame media propaganda. But my own take is that when times are good and may potentially become better with a another credit card, a better job, a winning lottery ticket, or a successful child, you don't go looking very hard for the reasons for your well being. We are perfectly fattened and ready for the slaughter of our rights and future. As is always the case, we must band together or drown separately. We best be getting ready for showtime.