2008 was a brute, but I suspect that 2009 will make it look like Tickle-Me-Elmo for sheer high-octane ugliness. One thing's certain: our skill at avoiding the obvious is second to none.
There would seem to be numerous drastic issues - you know, amusing trivia like a constantly growing population facing a shrinking global supply of food & fuel, a polar icecap going tits-up, & an economy with all the tender charm of GG Allin with a snootful of moonshine & coke - that are ALL about to come out to play ... much like a cat plays with a crippled bird before it eats it.
My species has gotten so good at pulling horseshoes out of its ass that I fear it now tends to believe that such a state of affairs is not only the norm but also its automatic birthright. Unless my historical intuition is leading me astray (& oh how desperately I want that to be true), I'd say we're overdue to give it one more try ... & come up with nothing more reassuring than a bad case of global stinkfinger, & a total lack of alibis.
We've been partying like it's 1999 since long before that year, & the party's just about over now.
The hangover from all of this is gonna be a real bitch.