This line of thinking is sometimes used to try to comprehend why the Bush administration acts so foolishly and violently in pursuing policies obviously detrimental to the vast majority of us, the residents of Earth.
But in fact these are the end times. That doesn't mean The Rapture is imminent, only that fundamental changes in how we live are occurring, and certain to increase. The stresses on our lives and our planet have pushed us to the edge, and it seems some new resolution and order must resolve out of our current malaise and chaos.
Two major scenarios appear based on where we are right now. One is a catastrophic dissimilation of culture with an ever poorer quality of life until social collapse decimates our lives and planet. That's where BushCo and other world leaders are taking us.
The other is a path to sustainability. Sustainability is based on ecology, and on methodologies that are repeatable indefinitely into the future. Sustainability thinking is more and more entering the mainstream, and not a moment too soon.
What's really heartening these days is that real democracy is arising all over the planet. South America is electing leaders that are throwing off the mantel of global corporations and the World Trade Organization. The people of Nepal are fighting to remove a king. Africa keeps stumbling forward, as does Eastern Europe.
Beyond that there is the very tangible move toward sustainability by business. The organic food industry is growing by double digits each year. Interest in renewable technologies is at an all-time high. And when Wal-Mart promotes "going organic " there is reason for caution, but by golly that's sustainability going mainstream.
The real movement, though, is the millions of us that are getting more conscious and making efforts, in whatever small ways we can, to take the path toward sustainability. This is where the action is, and this is where the creativity, imagination, dedication and compassion are to create a "new world order " that actually serves the needs of human and non-human life everywhere on the planet.
The old paradigm is broken. We can keep pretending things are okay as long as we personally aren't slapped too badly by losing a job, a family member in Iraq, social security benefits, etc. And we can wake up one morning and find things far more desperate than they are today. We can't really afford to sit on the fence any longer.
If you're not sure whether you're one of us, you're probably not there yet. But damn, we'd love the company.