Growing up, such discussion of TEOTWAWKI always contained the caveat, not in our lifetime. Well, not in our lifetime is still possible, i guess, but undoubtedly, that caveat is becoming much less secure as we begin to replace it with the word "maybe." Those who pay attention are beginning to have serious doubts about the longevity of the world as we know it. Alas, we are the minority, and the vast majority controls the apparatus that raises those doubts, to begin with, and the vast majority are either stupid, don't care (or both), greedy (or all three), or are in denial (or all four). From my own perspective, yes, bad times are a-comin', but it won't be the end of the world. The world was here for millions and millions of years before humanity, and it will be here for millions of years after we're gone. As long as we have a molten core, this planet will have life. Life will continue, and humans will be here for a very long time to come, but ironically, it might be technology that ends up seperating us into the haves and have nots. Or rather, in to the rulers and the serfs. I agree with Kunstler that we're headed for a much more regional economic system, as opposed to a global economy. Here in the middle of the US, grapes from Chile, or apples from NZ, will increasingly become luxuries, instead of stapels, like we have now. International travel will continue, but the mass-transit airline industry will be reduced to only those who have vast quantities of money. For the "public", we'll travel on ships, or not at all, just like we did one hundred years ago. The 20th Century was a technological bubble, enabling an exponential increase in everyone's standard of living. Along with this standard of living, there were also major, MAJOR technologies developed that can either save us, or kill us all, and those positive technologies are being more slowly advanced because there's simply no economic reason for saving the world. If everyone has what they need and the planet is safe from destructuve technologies, there goes my power and my wealth. I'll stop that before i lose control of everything that i see. We'll also see a lot more sudden and abrubt changes to political systems, all around the globe. Back in the 60s and 70s, how many people here had duck and cover exercises in school, just in case there was a nuclear war? That seems ludicrous today, but was taken very seriously back then. How many people actually thought we would see the end of the Soviet Empire back in the 70s? Again, ludicrous. Things change, and given twice as many people on the planet now, as opposed to then, and us 7 billion people are all competing against each other for the natural resources that are left to be found, and that are decreasing in volume every single day, and the increase in media and communication technologies that enable nearly every single human to know what's happening on the other side of the planet, so 15 seconds ago, along with the ideological extremism we're all witnessing now...........Ay Carumba! It's hard to think of life as we know it lasting very long, at all.
OK. I'll go take a chill pill. That will solve everything.