Most of the rising spiral of problems we face as the industrial age approaches its end could have been prevented with a little foresight and forbearance, and even now—when most of the opportunities to avoid a really messy future have long since gone whistling down the wind—there’s still much that could be done to mitigate the worst consequences of the decline and fall of the industrial age and pass on the best achievements of the last few centuries to our descendants. Of the things that could be done to make the future less miserable than it will otherwise be, though, very few are actually being done, and those have received what effort they have only because scattered individuals and small groups out on the fringes of contemporary industrial society are putting their own time and resources into the task.
Meanwhile the billions of dollars, the vast public relations campaigns, and the lavishly supplied and funded institutional networks that could do these same things on a much larger scale are by and large devoted to projects that are simply going to make things worse. That’s the bitter irony of our age and, more broadly, of every civilization in its failing years. No society has to be dragged kicking and screaming down the slope of decline and fall; one and all, they take that slope at a run, yelling in triumph, utterly convinced that the road to imminent ruin will lead them to paradise on Earth. - John Michael Greer