Those of you who have already read Alpha to Omega (or even taken note of the cover) will know that 2013 figures largely. You will also know, if you read these posts, that I have previously referred to a 'tipping point'. This term has often been used in the past in respect of climate change; I see it in a wider context - of which climate change is just one part.
Since completing Alpha to Omega last year, I have become increasingly aware of the pace of change beginning to quicken. If you don't believe me, sit down quietly for 10 minutes with pencil and paper and start to make your own list of significant issues that have already or are likely to bring about major changes in the near future. I'll give you a few of my own, just for starters. Even if they at first seem to be focussed on the UK, I would argue that the ramifications extend well beyond these shores or similar events can be found worldwide.
Each quarter seems to bring some new major misdemeanour to light in the banking world; resulting in massive fines and management resignations. There are plenty more 'surpises' in the pipeline! This effects everyone and massive restructuring is inevitable. In the UK, the roots of the problem can be traced back to the 1970s and the chickens are now coming home to roost.
The Eurozone crisis (arising out of deception and lies) sends a chill through the global economy. Even China (the powerhouse of the world economy in the past few years) is beginning to feel the effects. There are obvious consequences, but it is the less obvious - such as civil unrest - that we should really take notice of.
Destabilisation of countries, through uprisings and civil wars, also brings its own problems. While we might cheer heartily for those who have or will defeat oppressive regimes, we also have to recognise that it creates its own problems. What, for example, will happen to Syria's substatial stocks of chemical weapons? These are not largely mythical (as with Iraq), they are universally known to exist. As happened with the old soviet bloc countries, sudden change creates opportunities for weapons of mass destruction to fall into the wrong hands. As yet, few have been used; but that will change.
My final one for this 'starter' list is the environment. Those of us living in the UK have been experiencing prolonged spells of wet weather in recent months, as a consequence of the jet stream being further south than is usual. We also discovered this week that the oceans are continuing to warm up. We can, of course, argue about the causes of this, but the consequences are inevitable. Firstly, water evaporates faster from the oceans, resulting in more rain. Where it falls, will depend on what is happening to the 'conveyors' that move our weather around. Warmer waters also mean ice thaws more rapidly. That melting ice upsets the salinity of the oceans, which in turns influences the currents which circulate around the globe. In the UK, for example, that would impact on the Gulf Stream; which has traditionally helped to give us a mild and temperate climate.
And finally, an extended piece of research has come to the conclusion that the rich and powerful (bankers, politicians and other 'leaders') tend to be more greedy and less caring than the rest of the population. That could explain quite a lot, don't you think? It's a topic I may come back to.