All the books I've been reading lately have predicted the riots in the streets (currently in the UK and before that Greece) which are occasioned by government austerity programs. They have also predicted chaos and collapse in financial systems around the world, increases in the price of petroleum products and food, and increases in severe weather events. It's beginning to look as if they are right . . . . . isn't it?
Thomas Homer-Dixon (The Ingenuity Gap, The Upside of Down), Carolyn Baker (Sacred Demise), Richard Heinberg (Peak Everything, The Oil Depletion Protocol), James Howard Kunstler (The Long Emergency), Bill McKibben (Eaarth), David C. Korten (The Great Turning) and Rob Hopkins (The Transition Handbook) along with many others, have alluded to this kind of mayhem as a reaction to the twin crises of the decline of cheap oil and global climate change so I am reading the forecasts and the actual news reports alongside one another.
These same authors have offered ways of softening the transition required by the collapse of the industrial world, all of which require a single starting point; that we get through the denial stage and start to take positive action, both in our personal lives and in the life and structure of the communities in which we live. Re-localization, re-skilling and down-sizing all rate high on the list of necessary actions to prepare for, and cope in a post-oil world.
Eventually, our children, our grandchildren, our friends and our neighbours will all be facing the water cannon, tear gas, pepper spray and plastic bullets as our police and military are put in the untenable position of propping up a system of law, order and governance which has become obsolete. This burgeoning obsolescence is due to our overindulgence and our view of the world as being a host of resources spread before us for our use. The truth is that we are but one very recent evolutionary quirk which is currently looking to be short lived.
If we would like to extend the tenure of our species, we need to accept the facts, prepare and act. There is the distinct possibility of a new humanity being created out of the detritus of the industrial world but it will be very different from anything we have experienced in the last 150 years. Many aspects of that new humanity will be diminished from the present but many could actually be beneficial, especially to our well-being and quality of life.
Think about it, read about it and talk about it; you may find it hard to converse with a great many people so find other people who share your vision and talk to them. Creating this New Humanity may seem hard and may put you at odds with friends and family but ultimately, there will be no alternative.
So, stay positive, look for the silver lining in the gathering clouds and start picking up those new/old skills from the past that will be required to transition into the future with some comfort and confidence.