By Dave Lindorff
Gentle reader, I am afraid cannot bring myself to offer you the expected “Happy New Year” greeting at the start of this decade.
The traditional phrase for today sticks in my craw. It just seems too ridiculous and inappropriate to our reality to be uttered with any sincerity.
2020 and the decade that it is ushering in is not going to be a “happy” time for the vast majority of us humans on this planet or even to those of us living in this most fortunate of nations, geographically speaking.
Consider: The year starts with North Korea declaring an end its voluntary suspension of nuclear tests and with the US promising a reaction if, as announced, Pyongyang detonates a “new super weapon.” The year starts too with the US establishing a new branch of its already unprecedentedly huge and globally deployed military, this time expanding war-making into the realm of space both in low orbit and inevitably onto the moon and beyond. It starts too with the US having quit the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, and with Russia responding to the threat of nuclear missiles being emplaced minutes from Russia’s border by deploying a new type of virtually unstoppable hypersonic cruise missile weapon, promising a whole new international arms race.
The 2020s also promises to be the decade that will likely witness the complete vanishing of the ice cap covering the Arctic Ocean during the late summer months — something that has never happened in the entire history and prehistory of the human species, and probably the history of our genetic forebears too. It will witness the extinction of perhaps half or more of the plant and animal life-forms that have evolved over hundreds of millions of years, the desertification of vast regions of the globe on which hundreds of millions of humans currently live, and the virtual vanishing of the Amazon jungle. And it will witness a dramatic sea-level rise that by the decade’s end will force many cities to face the choice of enduring year-on-year epic flooding and eventual inundation or a pre-emptive migration away from coastlines.
Beyond that, we humans being what we are — that is, hard-wired to be tribal, selfish and quick to resort to violence — and the United States being the hubristic imperialist nation that it is, this promises to also be a decade of unending conflict and war. Probably too, we humans being vulnerable to appeals to our worst instincts in times of trouble and fear, it will be a decade of increasingly authoritarian regimes, including here in the United States.
I want to say that technically we could mitigate this dystopic near future. We could pull together as a nation and wrest control of our political destiny from the pathologically grasping and immoral minority who see, in this coming decade of crisis, only the potential for their own short-term gain. We could also, as a nation, take a leading role in ending international conflict…
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/hard-times-are-coming-in-2020-and-in-the-decade-ahead/