This week London and other cities have seen major protests from environmentalists. So, do we have to accept that with climate change and other socio-economic crisis there is simply no return to the optimism of the millennium?
As an 80s child I perhaps feel this stronger than other age groups – having grown up in the mostly optimistic 90s with Cool Britannia, the end of the cold war, “things can only get better” and general optimism (even encyclopedia’s were optimistic bits of fun). Yes, we had Captain Planet, Ferngully and other media warning us of the dangers of the future but overall I suspect there was far more cultural positivity than for those growing up now. Current school kids have been globally connected from birth yet are seeing trade wars, cold (and hot) wars, migration crises and other threats to subdue their futures.
If the future is indeed going to be bleaker then I suspect we need to relearn to ‘make do and mend’ – in this context I’ve recently been reading a lot about Jughad design. I’m pretty sure this concept was new to me – although it has been used in the west for at least 20 years and there are a variety of books and articles on its application away from the Indian subcontinent.
At the same time we have to remember we have come along way and their are reasons for optimism – for that I would recommend the book Abundance that I have recently finished reading.