When do we ALL know (and discuss) that things have really changed?

Each week, you can read great commentary and comments from the usual cast of characters (as seen on my blog roll) that are associated with the darker futures (read: not Ray Kurzweil!) – You can also read the news, and see that cracks are beginning to form in the reality previously known as ‘Standard American Life’.  For example, the California drought situation is one of those cracks that really have been brought to the forefront.

Unless you live in California, however, the cracks seem far away, and distant.   Food prices may rise, but life goes on.   You can still get gas at the pump, and grocery stores are still filled with food, even if those prices have gone up.   Even after the attacks on September 11, 2001, as much as the country was on edge, after a few months, things started to settle in again to a daily routine.   Yes, our civil liberties were curtailed.  Yes, air travel became a lot tougher and full of hassles.   And yes, a few thousand people were killed.   This was horrible, no doubt, especially if someone you knew, even remotely, was involved.  But life went on for most, not changing much.   Many people still went to their day job, still drove to work,  saved for retirement, and planned for a future that didn’t look too much different than the present.

My question is this – when will this mindset change – for all of us?   Jim Kunstler and John Michael Greer have put forth some great fiction on this; Kunstler, with the World Made By Hand novels (and his play Big Slide), and Greer with his Twilight’s Last Gleaming.   In the WMBH, a nuke or two has gone off; in TLG, the US loses a few carriers, and…


the country goes down a path that few could even conceive of until recently – a semi-polite political fracturing.

These are two very possible and plausible futures.  In both, central governments break down and lose legitimacy, and things get quite a bit hectic real fast.

One possible scenario that has been discussed has been some sort of new financial glitch – think 2008, but a lot, lot worse.   This one seems almost impossible, yet in 2008, we were on the brink (so they tell us) of the ATMs closing down, and the entire financial system imploding.  Now, of course this didn’t occur, at least publicly, and after an infusion of many billions, things appeared to get ‘back on track.’  Even now, our stock market has reached new heights.   But as discussed on Zero Hedge, a lot of very smart and rich people are getting a bit nervous again,  and that should worry us all.

There is a problem, of course, with all of these projections, scenarios, and warnings – Apocalypse fatigue.  This was well summed up by Flagg707 on Greer’s blog last week:

Another aspect of this denial might be Apocalypse fatigue. The people who planned for Bankruptcy 1995, or an economic collapse after the Dot Com bubble, or $400/bbl oil a few years back, or the collapse of the banking system in 2008-2009, etc. have probably warned their “unawakened” family members multiple times over the years of impending collapse, only to see the system recover, though at a lower level of operability for many users. This “proof” that the Man will always find a way to fix things, even if the little people get a few less toys, reinforced by family and friends tired of hearing about “the long run” might be just the kind of excuse for people who know better to ignore what appears to many of us as Catabolic Collapse in action around us. Just a thought.

So, those of us ‘in the know’ have been warning about disasters for a long while now… and your unwashed/unawakened relatives and friends have been going merrily along, doing well in their investments (OK, they had a dip in 2008, but things have rocketed back to even better heights), still using Facebook, and saying things like “they’ll figure something out – they always do,” with regards the realities of climate change and Peak Oil.

My question is then – when do we get a moment where all of us really, really are aware that Life Will Now Be Really Different?   It seems that no matter what happens these days, a good bunch of folks seem to go on oblivious, not realizing that yes, we *are* on our way to hell in a handbasket.   This is seen most in the modern, mainstream media (typically abbreviated as ‘MSM’); headline news, some world events, celebrity gossip, sports of the season, a funny or sad piece to wrap up a broadcast.

Is there anything short of a nuclear weapon exploding in anger over a modern city, or a real zombie apocalypse to make people think and discuss the serious problems we have?

Flash update; PeteAtomic, on JHK’s blog made this point, which is one way to get people thinking about reality:

Wanna effect a shift? Get people ravenously hungry. Then you see precipitous & calamitous social changes ala’ 1917 Russia. The US feds know this and will do (and are doing) everything to avoid that happening.

Yep, that’s one way…


3 thoughts on “When do we ALL know (and discuss) that things have really changed?

  1. Neon Vincent

    Here’s what I wrote at Kunstler’s blog farther down the comment thread from Pete Atomic’s comment.

    That’s what’s been happening since 2007-2008 in much of the rest of the world. I tell my students a story about food prices and unrest that makes that point. Name a flash point in the world, and high food prices, just enough to really take a chunk out of their wallets and make it difficult to feed people, have hit the place. In fact, food riots have been the start of revolutions in the modern world going at least as far back as the French Revolution, which began with The Woman’s March on Versailles, essentially a very organized food riot.

  2. Pingback: A year of peakfuture | peakfuture

  3. Pingback: When we know things have changed, redux | peakfuture

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