There is a feeling of teetering at the brink. The closest to home is the financial crisis. The media is carrying the water as the mouthpiece for the government. The talking points use employment and GDP numbers to paint a brighter picture, though I doubt there are many who give much credibility to corporate media unless it aligns with their beliefs and/or agendas.
Inflation has reared its ugly head. The cost of fuel has risen noticeably. That will further tax our spending and influence our behaviors/choices which will likely further erode the viability of many businesses. Food too has risen sharply.
Government is starving for revenue. They are raising parking rates, tolling roads and formulating tax schemes to bleed money into their coffers. Not surprisingly these fees/taxes/tolls are not yielding the expected revenues but they are changing the behaviors of the users. Revenue projections fall short year after year and I have little doubt the current forecasts are overly optimistic. A bright side to these budgetary shortfalls is that it becomes necessary to shrink government and scrutinize spending. I expect that a truly sustainable government will need to be efficient. The layers of bureaucracy will need to be trimmed and the constituents will need to be more self reliant. I predict that personal responsibility will yield improvements in education, energy conservation and stronger communities.
Energy production has been eroding as well. Everything from the Nuke disaster in Japan to the middle east revolutions reduce efficiency of delivery to the ever growing demand.
There are those who are looking for global/collective solutions. I say look locally. Sustainability boils down to the individual. He needs the fortitude to be self reliant and from that a community can be based. Nimble and resilient communities will more easily adapt to limited resources. Smaller problems are more easily identified and solved. Independence minded individuals won’t rely on nebulous governmental institutions to save them, instead the freedom will kindle innovation and a willingness to act in ones self-interest to the betterment of the community as a whole. Behaviors contrary to societal or individual well being will no longer get lost in the system, rather they will be dealt with before the metastasize into the blight of crime and corruption we experience today.