Picture I think a collage made by CC Christopher Chase (but I might be wrong)

Trendwatch 2019

No, it’s not going to be fun. But you can make a difference!

Floris Koot
Mar 14 · 13 min read

This is not what colours, what fashion, what holidays will be trending. This is about our whole system, what drives it, what it leads to and what might happen because of that. This is about what the world is becoming and could become if we change course.

The drivers for these trends:

The complexity of the world as a whole interdependent system. That’s too hard to get for most people. They want simple and clear realities to deal with, and if things go wrong clear places or people to blame. The overload in information worsens this. It also leads to the rise of increased levels of cognitive dissonance and even more simpler fixed convictions (flat earth, anyone?). Yet all these interconnections create increased fragility of the system as a whole, let alone the awareness of that, and thus the need to keep the ‘system’ healthy.

Obedience to the convictions and interests that drive the ‘expansion machine’. Words like ‘bigger, better, more, faster, more profitable’ drive our actions, both on the collective level, and on the personal one. Everything must be more efficient, more effective and deliver more production, with more marketing to keep everyone buying. When we were hunters that was survival. Now it’s killing us. Yet most business books are all about increasing your output, success or profits. We act as if the world is infinite in a finite world. That madness can’t continue.

The unwillingness of elites to bend the cult of the financial economy as driver for civilization towards real regenerative design. The incapability and unwillingness of billionaires and large industries to change course is wreaking more and more havoc. It all comes down to this. Our ecosystem is a fine tuned system developed through millions of years. Our impact on it is out of balance. Solutions that don’t help to get back in tune, cannot but help to make matters worse.

The suppressed fear of the Western Middle Class masses of what is happening, and their equal unwillingness to change their own consumer habits towards helping in making a difference. And or, of course, their lack of seeing how. Generally, we aren’t educated to help change things, only to work for the system as it is, mostly dreaming of a big house and the freedom to buy stuff. And the fear losing our ‘normal’ makes us opt for the worse longer term choices, in stead of helping things shift starting today.

The anxious believe falsely that some new tech will bring the solution. Why is this a false believe? At the root is the hope, the next big invention will help us basically to continue our lifestyles as we currently do. And each new invention, brings it’s own unwanted side effects and is a distraction from the real causes that it doesn’t address. No way we can build a better forest than nature can. We still know way too little, yet act as if we do. We are way to arrogant about our capabilities. Most new ‘solutions’ are great sales pitches. Sometimes even considering side effects as added opportunities. So, stay very critical.

Already happening

More wildfires, more draughts, more storms, more disasters, stranger patterns, more records in warmth or, like this winter, colds. Whatever is causing it, it’s happening. But most importantly, even when we may not be sure if and how we made matters worse, we must start acting as if nature is fragile and tend to its needs.

“Whatever we do to the web of life, we do to ourselves.” ~Native American saying.

We more and more get into ‘deadly dilemmas’. Here’s two of those: Either we stop overfishing (and thus millions will suffer from loss of jobs to go hungry) or we continue and the whole system may collapse (and we all die). Either we stop using insect killing chemicals for agriculture (and millions will suffer) or we let all insects die (and we all die). This is the only real fight of this time. There are enough solutions, like massive organic small farming with permaculture, generative design and many other solutions. But there is as yet not enough will and realism among those who should make the difference.

When things get overwhelming we may prefer to only see simple problems with simple solutions. The fear of foreigners and minorities is very simple, and one can point them out in the street. This fear is often incited, behind the scenes, by rich elites, who in invest in mass manipulation. Their motivation: fear for substantial changes to the system that benefits them. Last century they invested in the Red Scare. Currently this goes from meddling in elections (Brazil), countries (Venezuela), as use of distraction (Trump’s wall) to the rise of rightwing aggression across Europe (which strangely benefits both white racists and nationalists, and both Russia’s and current USA’s love to see the EU weakened).

In this short clip Noam Chomsky explains how far left and right are way more similar than different, as predicted by Bakunin in the 19th century.

The biggest powerhouses still play the map as a game of Risk or Monopoly, seeking to grow their own power. With Trump in power, it seems Piracy Wars* (hardly disguised as regime change wars) are becoming normal. The USA, China, India all are currently invading Africa for the natural resources. If you look into it, we should see that the rising tensions are consciously created by fewer than several thousands of people. Whole populations care naught about these conflicts, nor will ever gain anything from them until, of course, propaganda turns them into believers. Then they’ll die for their believes, fighting to make some leaders richer. Wars will increasingly also used as both distraction and solution to all previous named issues.

*) Piracy wars are wars that under pretext of ‘help’ or ‘liberation’ aim to get access to the natural resources of the land they invade. All for the ‘good’ of the locals of course, who then mostly end up worse off. Ask Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico, Vietnam and others.

The Yellow Jackets in Paris are just the beginning. People feel they’re being played. Alternative media opens eyes, as does the lack of representation minorities and poor classes in mainstream media. They see things spiraling downward and it being ignored as an issue of major importance. Thus they get more angry. And all incentives and distractions to stop them from rising up will more and more futile. Be aware this is not about the motive to revolt, that might either be nationalist anxieties or environmental worries. But the lack of honesty at the top, over fending for the interests of big lobbies and elites is increasingly angering masses of people. Spring 2019 will be a major banner waving season.

June 2019 as announced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntYUbIKcrCc

It seems very few politicians are willing to address the biggest most essential issues. That would mean true change, and also mean they’d have to adapt, rather than cling to their power and what they know. They rather cry ‘wolf’ about immigrants, or rising prices. We’ll keep focussing on daily needs, and threats that we can imagine, like nationalism, Trumps tweets, Brexit, new gadgets, star gossip. The much slower degradation of our whole system is so much more difficult to focus on. And also many interest groups still feel their own direct interests outrank any global reality. They rather see everyone else adopt. Yet with 11 years to go the clock is ticking, we need a focus on turning Global Warming around for them as much as all of us.

Business is business and technological advances are good business. The next big thing is always around the corner, bigger, better, faster. And we are less and less careful with implications and effects, as in the USA regulations dwindle away due to corporate lobbies influencing politics. Is 5G safe? Business says yes. Activists say no. Do we know for sure enough which it is? Economic pressure says yes. But what does nature say? Last year in China 7 million people alone died of air pollution. Economic pressure said yes. Nature said there is a price to pay. It’s time to consider when that price has become to high.

Millions are already doing this. Millions more would love to, but feel bound by their job they can’t afford to lose (job slavery, is that a word?) And rather than act, or make governments happy, that civilians actually want positive change, elites often feel threatened. But this is not about taking from them, this is about saving the planet, or rather human and natural life on it. So the elites should take the space to help. Their resistance just makes matters and thus anger against them worse. For now, the change is all bottom up, and millions of experiments in organic agriculture, mind shifting, teal organizations, alternative living styles are more than worth looking into. If you are in business, this will be the biggest growth market.

People feel this, and it touches them. See next point..

Very likely to spike upwards

This is going to be a very painful one. Simple problems with simple solutions: “The world is a terrible place. I can do nothing. I must be too weak. I have no meaning. I step out.” I fear youth suicides will spike, may even become cultish. Parents and education isn’t helping. We want young people to become strong and have success, rather than feel and help change things. For way too long we’ve seen depression as an individual weakness. It’s not. In reality it’s our collective incapability to address the real underlaying issues. And our youth pick up on that. They’re not stupid. We feel sorry for the families losing their children, but collectively rather avoid being sensitive enough to feel and accept we are collectively crazy. There are luckily youth, and activists, who show that despair can be become a driving source of meaning, like Greta Thunberg. (If you have a depressed child show them this and as an adult adapt your life in support of that, like her father!)

June 2019 as predicted this article in USA today.

Solutions escapists are all kinds of people seeking to escape the cities towards organic communities. Their experiments can be purposeful regenerative design driven, but also very cultish, anti-establishment preppers or basic hippy hedonism. This flight may help or do more harm than good. The work here is to focus your ‘escape’ on becoming an experiment purposefully seeking alternatives that can be scaled, back into the larger system. Yet the danger is that many escapists become hedonists, holidaying near the last nature reserves boosting at first local economies. But then in the longer run the outsider investors will come in and make matters worse.

When things fall apart we can have two distinct reactions. One is waking up. The other is getting away with as much we can, as hard and as big as possible, until the ship sinks. Some people rather have the world die, than give up their own madness. It’s obviously a deadly pattern. The number of attacks on activists, on free press, on organizations speaking up has been steadily increasing the last years. As the walls of capitalism, and democracy are crumbling, those that benefitted from the plunder will do anything to stop their personal walls and interests from falling down by lying, cheating, bluffing. And people like Trump show more and more openly how to get away with it.

It looks like a growing amount of people can’t deal with the complexity our our interconnected societies any more. Many seem to prefer to shove any blame of any disaster onto others. The insanely loyal Trump followers denying science are just the beginning. In the USA ‘End Times’ Believers (“Let’s not do anything to make a difference. Let’s just believe God will save us and send the rest to hell”) Preppers, Gangs, Ultra right racism are all on the rise. Europe and South America are following. Being stupid with simple solutions blaming other groups, races, nationalists seem the way out of considering the larger context and our own role in creating it. I predict this kind of cultish believes will get increasingly dominant, as reality becomes increasingly more difficult to comprehend.

As stated before, our eco sphere is a hugely complex balanced system, we disturbed. Rather than change our ways, we’re like a obese junkfood lover, who demands medicines that help him continue his disastrous lifestyle. Medicines come often with side effects. And like Big Pharma, huge geo-engineering projects may love some side effects, as they lead to new projects. How crazy must it get? Because worse than the natural disasters will most likely be the human created ones. Think things like human made plastic eating bacteria switching to easier organic foods.

We must admit we have no clue about the true complexity of the whole system, and rather than adapt it to our needs, we must adjust to give it space to self repair.

Shocker, but many many Hollywood movies will soon stop making sense. Many games will stop making sense. Most politics will stop making sense. Our rising awareness will make the blatant unthinking hedonist consumer propaganda within them seem stupid, silly and false. The self obsessed lives of many heroes in romantic comedies will become unwatchable. Super heroes fighting fantasy monsters, while ignoring real issues will feel like superficial. Marvel & Disney will start losing traction. What does it matter that one couple overcomes personal odds, or saves the world from imaginary monsters while the real one falls apart? More and more thinking people may start to seek out a special kind of alternative media: antidote media. This will address the real issues, investigate the major issues such as climate change, instead of daily blur. It will let these realistic observers and activists heroes show their solutions. They are telling us what we need to do to change our dystopian downward spiral into one of hope and vision. It may lead to less and less people believing mass media, until they too must focus on a reality that can’t be ignored any more.

We may and can only hope for more Public Awareness about the Need for Ecosphere Protection and activism. Our world is at stake.

The more people lie, the more they seek to get away with things, full well knowing it will damage the planet more, the more people will be angry they get away with it….for now. And when knowledge and facts becomes clearer, the elites choices to protect business is not smarts, but corruption, the more people will demand hard change. And right they are. At one time during history slavery, Nazism, suppression of women, divine royalty, having gladiators fight to the death for fun, defecating publicly in the street, child labour, all have been ‘normal’. With what we know now, new normals will become evident. So support the Gentle Revolution while you can..

So what can we do?

  1. Either stay part of the problem or start making a difference. One way is seek to help stop corporate power.
  2. Support the great Green Overhaul. Invest in change, in green, in regeneration. This will provide millions of new jobs. Protecting the old system produces nothing, but more of the same, a decaying world where robbers wreak havoc. As capitalists always said, a total overhaul, everyone a new home, a new kitchen, all new products may seem to cost the most, it also raises profits much more.
  3. Start to invent new products, new regenerative approaches. This is both meaningful and profitable. Before Trump intervened to help ‘clean coal’ solar panels had been the best growing new energy business in the USA. And Trump’s intervention is not stopping the decline of coal.
  4. If you’re in tech, also consider the whole life cycle of your product, not just fabrication and distribution. If you’re in art, start making meaningful art that helps people wake up. If you’re in agriculture try become as organic as possible. If you’re in building, build as environmental aware as possible. Houses that create their own energy, walls and roofs that offer way more food gardening are possible and make sense, except for energy companies rather billing people monthly. Etc.
  5. Wherever you work, consider the impact of your efforts on the environment. Ask questions. Organize thinking among colleagues about this. If you’re an investor think about this. What used to be profitable may become criminal. If you’re a billionaire, will you either protect your interests and become beleaguered, or a global green hero? If you’re an educator, do you teach your children to become part of the problem (yes, take that oil lobby job!), or help them becoming the solution?
  6. Realize this needs to be approached on many levels. It’s not just a matter of newer cleaner systems. We as humans need to see how primitive our actions often still are. Both on the personal level, driven by anxieties & lusts, and on the collective level, driven by convictions like infinite growth. We need to shift our minds and reconnect with the larger web of life we are part of, as the source of our actions.
  7. Modern media needs next to the weather report, daily updates on what is being done to shift our planet towards healthy. Every day the government has nothing new to show either ‘sigh’ on camera, or show one actual bottom up initiative deserving government and or financial backing.
Experimental example of news item doing just that.

The Gentle Revolution

Towards a revolution we all want to dance in, for a flourishing planet.

Floris Koot

Written by

Play Engineer. Social Inventor. Gentle Revolutionary. I always seek new possibilities and increase of love, wisdom and play in the world.

The Gentle Revolution

Towards a revolution we all want to dance in, for a flourishing planet.

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