So, I realised what the current world situation feels like.
I remember growing up in the 1980s. As kids we were existentially worried about a lot of things.
- We worried about AIDS – a frightening disease with no cure that could turn into an unstoppable epidemic.
- We worried about the ozone hole – a major environmental issue that could lead to vastly increased rates of cancer and deleterious effects on plants and animals.
- We worried about global nuclear war – a political danger that threatened to kill pretty much everyone in horrible ways.
It seemed like there was a pretty good chance that none of us would have the chance to grow up to be adults, because civilisation might well not last that long. It was this background of all-pervading existential angst that underlaid the 80s.
But now isn’t an exact parallel to the 80s. The difference back then was:
- We had medical science that people trusted to do life-saving research and less ineffective folk remedies, anti-science, and unhealthy paranoia about “germs” leading to rampant overuse of antibacterials.
- We had an international agreement to ban ozone-depleting chemicals, and every nation carried through with it within a few years, rather than ignoring it as “too hard”.
- We had Russian and American leaders who were actually working together to try to defuse hostilities and reduce the threat of a major war.
Oh, and the other good thing about the 80s was that angst led to a decade of cool protest songs and other music. :-)