Martin Meenagh writes:
There are times when things are set, and times when they can be changed. Tomorrow, a vast Asian free trade bloc will be consolidated by the entry into agreement of China and Asean. Last week, Russia announced the completion of pipelines and ports that massively enhance its bargaining power by giving it the capacity to feed energy west or east. Peak oil went mainstream just before the announcements.
Earlier this month, the United States admitted that it had no more money for any second stimulus, but moved towards a vast and complex healthcare bill that will cost over a trillion and which benefits the insurance lobby almost more than anyone else, for a marginal practical gain.
The British plunged into debt that will soon be worse than that of Italy, whilst the media encouraged people living on the edge of a credit abyss to spend, spend and spend again in sales. The War on Terror, that distinctive twenty-first century mania, escalated and began to assimilate yet another civil war. A fire whether deliberately set or not, after all, uses all available fuel and adds all others to its own. The gains to establishments everywhere intensified as full-body scanners and identification technology united with another argument for their ubiquity.
Despite the growing cold, and the collapse of global warming's intellectual case, governments plunged towards the creation of a carbon trading market that has already cost jobs and that fraudsters are already lining up to perpetrate. A second and serious credit crunch in the eurozone, complemented by vast north-south tensions, completed the feeling of a now ineluctable combination of forces that will make 2010 a terrible and historic year. Remember, the wall street crash was in 1929; the banks didn't fall until 1931; the worst years of the depression were long after it appeared.
In the face of it, a fellow could despair. But, we have reason and I have faith, so let's not. Dragons are there to punch on the nose, following all necessary precautions. And possibly to eat. The blogosphere is often accused, rightly, of being negative and disengaged, so all good bloggers should use this opportunity to say what they would actually do.
Of which there is never any shortage on here. Nor will there be.