Ok, so the dooms dayers were obviously wrong. I didn't see fireballs, just fireworks and unless this is a dream I'm still alive and the world is still here. The Mayan calendar was wrong.
But what if they weren't talking about the end of the world but the end of an era? What if 2012 turns out to be a new dawn? Let's entertain that idea for a minute.
Economic growth at the expense of society and the earth's natural systems pretty much died by 2012. That old economy made the super rich sickeningly rich and cut everyone else's unemployment benefits. It sold democracy and the media to the highest bidder, made us obese, turned sport into a business, fed off our insecurities, increased rates of depression, cancer and attention deficit disorder. It replaced community with cars, urban sprawl and reality TV. In short the old economy attempted to make the smartest animal in history into a stupid, unhappy and obese consumer of shiny disposable stuff (present company excepted of course). It also trashed the climate, increasing floods, bushfires, extreme temperatures, raising sea levels and melting ice caps. It wrecked the air in China, where all out disposable stuff is made. It stopped a third of our major rivers flowing to the sea. It put mountains of plastic in every ocean. It took the fish from the sea and resulted in one third of all other species of life being listed as threatened.
So the question is, does anyone still believe that the GFC was a one off recession?
What if it turns out that 2012 (ish) was the dawn of a new economy? One that enables us to grow all that matters? Like meaningfully lived lives of fulfilled potential. Like regenerating natural systems.
The new economy is on the cusp. Renewable energy, whole foods, local foods, biomimicry, ecologically sustainable design, the slow movement, energy efficiency, the sharing economy, electric cars (and many more) are all positive economic growth stories that grow our health, our economy, lessen our impact and make our cities and homes more liveable.
If we want more of this new economy we need to get involved in change making, to spend our money (including super) like people and the planet matter, to slow down a bit and to call the old economy and all its manifestations for what it is. A tired, broken mess. Let's not buy into it anymore.