Things to Come
I agree. In fact, it's the only way I can make sense of America today. Its policy makers aren't really crazy; they're aren't really stupid. They've known for some time that multiple global crises - environmental, energy-resource, economic - are approaching a singularity which will trigger a calamatous population crash. And because they know, and because they can, they mean to turn the calamity into opportunity by "managing change." I'm sure it makes them the heroes of their own mythologies.
America's religious right largely receive bad news as glad tidings. The sooner to see Jesus, my dear! To the fundamentalist Christian, the only meaningful debate left is whether we have already entered the Seven Years of Tribulation. This is an uncomfortable prospect for the Pre-Trib crowd, whose theology presumes the "Rapture," when they expect to bodily meet Christ in the air and be spared the outpouring of God's wrath. That the past four years seems like something that slithered out of the Book of Revelations may account in part for George Bush's "astonishing" low approval rating - the lowest in modern polling for a "re-elected" President at inauguration. As xymphora wonders, when will the cognitive dissonance over the rigged election begin to cause heads to explode?
Many of those on the left who share the assessment of looming catastrophe seem either paralyzed by a dreadful but ultimately ineffectual knowledge, or are stocking up on canned goods and taking out gun permits. I'm not pointing fingers. Both are perhaps equally appropriate responses, at least initially. Jerry Falwell aside, the end of the world is a hard one to spin.
Dale Allen Pfeiffer forecasts that we may have a period of grace for a year or two to prepare for the exigencies of peak oil, but come 2007, "if you are not prepared in a supportive community intent on transitioning to self-sufficiency, then your chances of surviving are drastically reduced." So, as we have a little while yet before we meet again in the Olduvai Gorge, how do we best pass the time?
It's late, I'm tired, and I'm still thinking about this. So I'll have get back to you.