Thursday, November 23, 2006

Something Is Going To Give, Somewhere, Soon.

Since 2003, the number of billionaires in the world rose by more than half and their total wealth nearly doubled, while almost three billion people around the world were scraping by on less than $2 a day and almost half the world’s children were severely deprived of basic nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and education.

We’re living in the twilight of the oil age. The world’s poor are rapidly gathering in squalid, teeming megacities, and what’s looming over the global economy is an imminent skyrocketing of fuel costs, along with the costs of all those primary goods and services that rely on fossil fuels for their production and distribution.

Global-scale ecological collapse is already under way, carrying off such basic ecological services and natural resources as breathable air, clean water, arable land, forests, and fisheries. It’s already too late to scale back greenhouse-gas emissions in time to completely stop global warming, with forecasts ranging between the disastrous and the catastrophic.

Into all this gloom walks University of Toronto political scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon, director of the
Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and author of the 1999 Caldwell prize-winner, Environment, Scarcity, and Violence, and the 2000 Governor General’s Award winner, The Ingenuity Gap.

What Homer-Dixon has to say now is that things are every bit as bad as they look but they’re nowhere near as hopeless as they seem.

That's from my Georgia Straight column today. It's about Homer-Dixon's new book, The Upside of Down.

“The extremists, when we reach crises, they’re going to be organized,” Homer-Dixon told me during a conversation the other day. “They’re going to be ready. We should be ready as well.”

Meanwhile, today is the 17th annual Day of Support for Jailed Journalists.

The worst offenders:


Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

Terry,interesting article.Got to agree with this;
"“Our current values serve the interests of today’s political and economic elites, and so are aggressively defended by these elites,” Homer-Dixon writes. It will probably take “some kind of major shock” to rattle rich societies out of their preoccupation with continuing economic growth."....
like the saying goes,"things have to get worse before they get better"
In most part though I believe this applies more so for the "developed countries".
The majority of the world suffers crisis caused by present economic and social conditions,on a daily basis.I would add also change is all ready beginning in the "Third World"against the neo-liberal,"free trade",market is everything logic.
These struggles I believe are going to force the developed countries to begin some kind of rethink.
And when this rethink and crisis starts to effect the lives and living standards of "suburbia",then we in the developed countries will be awoken from our cynicism,apathy,and consumerisms driven "delusions".
Terry you might also be interested in checking out my new blog.Finally got it built and uploaded.

7:38 PM  

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