Floods, drought, natural fires, hurricanes, violent storms, massive species extinction, infrastructure collapse, terrorist attacks, starvation, economic disaster, climate change, water shortages, food shortages, soil depletion, war, pestilence and a lack of preparedness for geologic events like tsunamis and earthquakes.
What in the world is going on?
"We've lost sight of the fact that the non-living systems we've created and the natural ones we didn't create share the same planet...and on Earth, Life rules, we don't," says Ellen LaConte, author of the new book, Life Rules .
What she is describing is Critical Mass, a term borrowed from nuclear physics, which identifies "a point in time when enough of something has been literally amassed that a spontaneous transformation occurs."
Already we are seeing five symptoms of Critical Mass occurring in both rich and poor countries, including our own: hyper-urbanization, joblessness, poverty, dislocation and disease.
As we emerge from Critical Mass, says LaConte, we will either be on the path to our own extinction or we will evolve to a new consciousness where we conceive ourselves as a part of Life rather than as separate beings above it.
The culprit in this whole process, she says, is the global economy where humans have "seriously compromised Life's primary safeguard: the natural communities and ecosystems that comprise Earth's self-protective, self-healing equivalent of an immune system."
As a result, we have unwittingly imposed a disease-like syndrome on ourselves that she compares to HIV/AIDS where all life on earth has the potential of being extinguished-- including our own.