Apocalypse-check, January 2009: Yep, the sky’s falling
It’s the end of the first month of 2009. The apocalypse, or at least the human race’s version based on hubris and greed, began in earnest last year. So how’s it looking now, 31 days into the new year?
A sampling of prominent headlines will sketch the picture:
- America’s economy is worse than it looks, there are few reasons for optimism (The Economist, January 30)
- U.S. job losses surpass 100,000 for week (CNN, January 30)
- U.S. new home sales plunge to lowest on record (CNNMoney, January 29)
- Florida, Maryland, Utah banks shut as crisis deepens (Bloomberg, January 30)
- Thousands protest across Russia over economic problems (BBC, January 31)
- France grinds to a halt as workers protest over credit crunch, bank bail outs; police clash with rioters in Paris (Glasgow Daily Record, January 30)
- Governments across Europe tremble as angry people take to the streets in France, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, Iceland, Russia, elsewhere (The Guardian, January 31)
- ‘New Europe’ is on the economic edge (Worldpress, January 30)
- Europe’s economic protests may be contagious, U.S. may not be far behind (NPR, January 30)
- Financial crisis causes Iceland’s government to collapse (The Telegraph, January 27)
- Five countries are poised to follow in Iceland’s footsteps toward economic ruin and political meltdown: Great Britain, Greece, Latvia, Ukraine, and Nicragua (Foreign Policy, January)
- New study led by NOAA says global warming is now irreversible no matter what we do (NPR, January 26)
- New Report Says Climate Change Irreversible for Next 1,000 Years (Voice of America, January 28 )
- Everything’ peaking — oil, money, topsoil, water, and more (Grist, January 30)
And so on. Gee, I’m glad Bernanke and Paulson and Co. were correct in late 2007 and early 2008 about the financial crisis being “contained.” I’m glad peak oil and energy is a myth like the people at CERA and elsewhere have been telling us. I’m glad climate change is just a bogeyman that’s manufactured by wild-eyed treehuggers in a nefarious attempt to halt the majestic advance and ultimate takeover of the world by corporate capitalism.
As far as what I’m personally seeing in my own life, things are fairly calm and pleasant with some indications that the economic carnage could enter my personal field of vision in the not-too-distant future.
So I’ll see you later. If there is a later.