Wednesday, 31 January 2007

The Dilemma of the Future

Having recently read the survey of UK's uni and college applicants opinions on Peak Oil, global warming and sustainable lifestyle, I couldn't help but feel schizophrenic (short summary: they believe in peak oil, global warming and a radical change in life style).

First, it looks like people are finally wising up, especially the new generation, which seems to be getting it's facts from other sources than the brainwashing mass media, that has done fairly good effort of trying to downplay the issues we are facing. Once these people grow up, even if only half of them keep their opinions, the world will be a different kind of place. And not only because of GW, PO and factor-10.

Unfortunately, one can't help thinking: it'll take another 20-50 years before these people are in the position of power to start calling the shots on important decisions. Do we have 20-50 years of luxury?

To add to the misery, opinions aren't as enlightened elsewhere: for most Americans defending against future terrorist attacks if the top priority. Dealing with global warming is fourth last on the list and peak oil in it's entirety does not register on the list.

I wish I could say the situation was remarkably better in Finland, but I suspect it is not. Not even the politician publicly acknowledge peak oil or peak gas. Most of the masses is blissfully unaware of the situation, due to the dismal job done by the national media.

So, we have the dilemma of the future: it looks like attitudes, knowledge and values are remarkably improving as we look into the future (at least beyond Finland), while at the same time it looks like the environment, resource tightness and food shortage situation is deteriorating remarkably at the same time.

I wonder if this is the classic, is the glass half full or half empty question.

I'm afraid that my answer would be a firm "both".