Here in the brief period between Christmas and New year’s, as a writer I am obligated to say happy, wishful things. I have to confess, I’m just not feeling it this year, so I’ll just do the minimum here and return to being a curmudgeon, because that’s what the times call for.
So, happy new year. I hope everything works out well for you in 2019.
There, with that behind us we can now return our attention to the true state of the world, which is deteriorating and getting worse.
For most people things will be decidedly worse, not better, as things progress along their current trajectories. The only planet we’ve got to live on is being killed by human activity and gross inattention, while economically the greatest and most ill-advised credit bubble in all of human history flirts with the sort of sudden disaster that follows shortly after the failure of one’s reserve parachute.
As I've often repeated, I truly wish this weren’t the case. I don't have a “bummer gene” that relishes bad news nor do I enjoy being "that guy” who says what no one wants to hear.
Many of you reading this know exactly what I'm talking about. You, too, had to keep your lips zipped over the holidays lest the strained family small talk and opening of cheaply-made forgettable gifts be ruined by any talk of 'reality'. Sure, everyone can inwardly wince at uncle Jack’s sixth bourbon and tolerate the buffoonery and social awkwardness sure to follow because “it’s only once a year.”
But collapsing insect populations, species loss, shrinking aquifers, and the utter betrayal of the younger generations by the “olders” running the fiscal and monetary policies of the world are not as easily dismissed. There’s...