The world is hurtling fast towards the abyss and no one seems able to save us. We have taken this beautiful world, filled for the most part with lovely persons, and trashed it, thrown it all away for a few dollars and trinkets.
When one looks at the state of the world one cannot help but be depressed. We have perpetual war worldwide. The war on terror instigated by the US after the attacks on September 11, 2001 has led to immeasurable suffering and the death of innocents globally, from parts of west Africa all the way to Pakistan. This has contributed to the world experiencing even more terrorist attacks from those enemies (as seen with the recent hatchet-wielding man in Paris).
This in turn has led the West to slowly tear apart at the seams. We see an open and rather unabashed return of the far right and populists in Europe and the erosion of the gains made in Latin America as the US-inspired global economic crisis continues to wreak havoc.
We see the societies that preach tolerance and inclusiveness now against the minorities, as seen with the rise of UKIP and most notably Donald Trump in America. All groups or people who preach anti-inclusivity and diversity are fast gaining ground.
As this goes on, we see our economy, which had been whizzing along, growing at break-neck pace for decades, finally collapse, taking with it a lot of the gains for those in the southern hemisphere. We see economies that grew at extraordinary paces, now stagnating. We see the gains in the areas of poverty reduction, once hailed as our grandest achievement, being turned back as people become poorer.
We also now live in an era where the gap between the rich and the poor is at the levels of the pre-world war period. In short, all the economic gains made in the era of ‘limitless growth’ are over.
The environment is also in a terrible state. We see this in each climate report as the globe warms and ice caps melt. We are also slapped with the extinction of many a specie and the possible extinction of ourselves, all because we believe that we can continue to grow at an infinite rate in a finite world. To some all seems bleak, but there is hope, however small, and it grows bigger daily.
Politically, while Trump, et al rise to power, a visible reaction is taking place. We are witnessing a level of political discussion globally as we try to comprehend this new world in which we live. No longer do the masses speak of getting ‘rich quick and bugger all else’, they speak now of how the pie that is societal wealth can be divided equally and justly.
We no longer are silent on the environment. From China to Canada, all agree that something must be done (even the US at state level). We see people moving from talking about going green to now having concrete policies, and the cheap technology to progress, if not saving, then at least stabilising the environment.
Militarily the people of the world are tired. They have had 16 years of nonstop global conflict and we are now seeing the hardened anti-war activists being openly welcomed by the communities that years ago would have shunned them. People who were viewed as a Debbie Downer or Cassandra now have the ear of millions of followers (I’m thinking of say a Bernie Sanders, or even Jeremy Corbyn).
Yes, the world is in uncharted waters but all is not lost. While the politicians dither the people are responding, and respond we must. Few politicians will change the world for the better, and fewer still want to. The onus has and will always be on us the people. It can be done, it has been done, and I firmly believe that it will be done. The world will be saved from ourselves.