Is the age of abundance over?
So many of us have taken quite a bit for granted throughout our lives: running water, constant gas and electricity, fully stocked shelves and healthcare free at the point of use (UK). It is important to note from the outset, however, that billions around the world haven't had the same luxury.
Now, it appears as if all of this is in jeopardy. Our systems seem to be crumbling and we find ourselves facing the prospect of actual poverty, power cuts, insecure energy supplies, empty shelves and privatised healthcare (which many of us can ill afford, pun intended).
There can be little doubt that we are in late-stage capitalism, which is marked by increasing inequality in wealth and opportunity and the negative consequences of pursuing constant growth (which was never sustainable). The future before us is filled, instead of promise and hope, with trepidation and uncertainty.
It's almost as if the so often mocked preppers and survivalists were right all along...
Are we, as a species, ready for the scarcity and difficulty which lies ahead? Are we, perhaps, witnessing the beginning of our decline as the dominant species on this planet (which we have so poorly treated)? Are we headed for extinction, even? And moreover, perhaps, do we deserve it?
It is a sobering, and depressing, thought. Even now, however, we can act and affect change. But we must act if we are to affect change. It won't come through observations (such as this blog post), or through complaints, or even through understanding the severity of our situation. It will only come through action. And we must all act, together, if we are to see promise and hope in the future once more.