As little as a year ago I was thinking that we had twenty to thirty years to find solutions to the big global challenges, climate change, peak oil, food, water, etc. Even this included assumptions that there would still be major displacements in various populations of the planet. But events over the past year have started me questioning this position. The rapid decline in ice formations, most importantly the arctic ice sheet, the increased rate of methane emissions from melting tundra, the rapid decline in the production of key oil producers (e.g. Mexico and North Sea) and the flattening of production in other key producers (not to mention the internal use of oil, reducing exports to us net importers) at the same time that demand from China and India are increasing, and several other accelerations in degradation of the environment have me concerned. Do we really have time?
The recent implosion (with much more to come) in the financial and housing markets, the run up in oil and gasoline (petrol) prices with impact on food prices are but symptoms of the systemic nature of the problems. As John Muir said, "...tug on one thing and everything is affected." In this case, it seems we are tugging on many things with potentially dire consequences.
This leaves me with a sense of growing urgency. I pay attention to rates of change and particularly acceleration. It is very hard to bring a system back into a controlled region when you have to compensate for acceleration out of that range.
My main question is how effective do the members of this group think we can be if my observations are correct? How do others see the need for progress if we are to make a difference? I'd just like to take the temperature of the group for a sense of how much effort should be put into getting this project functional and producing some results - sense of the global issues and humanity's responses to them.