Subject: SPAM-LOW: Good news??
Here's a follow-up on "first thoughts" -- if we take the long view. Sure, there will be a huge economic crash, which will affect all of the world's bigger cities and the developed world's lifestyle. There will probably also be a big and messy population collapse. But when the dust settles, the survivors will have a chance to do a better job of running the human enterprise.
We have to remember that prior to 1859, when the first oil well came in, we got along reasonably well without oil. In the interim, we have learned a lot about public health measures, and we've learned a lot about the human context. We now know that we are (or were) fundamental components of the global ecosystem and that a sustainable future requires us to learn to live within the limits of our renewable resources. Manufacturing will not go away, because renewable energies will permit that to continue on a more limited basis, as long as we recognize that it must be based on resources that are also renewable. We can focus our priorities on medical and educational assistance regarding family planning so that we don't let the population get out of hand again; and on maintenance, or development, of basic public health. We can recognize that in all of our actions, the key focus is on sustainability, and that any emphasis on "improvement" must be on quality, not quantity. We in the developed world will have to recognize that an emphasis on "things" and "more" is neither healthy nor sustainable. What might we gain by limiting advertising to information about essentials? How might we best utilize the ways we already know to regain our interpersonal and environmental interconnectedness?
We seem to live in a universe in which emergence is a key process. Might we not emerge from the near-term catastrophe with our wisdom intact and use our innate creativity to make our world humane for all of our "neighbors" into the foreseeable future? Despair is a short-term phenomenon.