The unrelenting pressures of a modern society are evident to most people on the planet. Traffic jams, nonstop ads, endless text messages and emails, the debate over global warming, concerns about the availability of water. Navigating these pressures will be a critical challenge for the foreseeable future.



Commentary


Insightful Articles


6/1/2012

Since the end of WW II, the American lifestyle has been distinguished by the idea that more is better.  Families are smaller, but houses are twice as big.  The road system is vastly improved, but consumers are driving off road vehicles with the capability of crossing the outback.

The average human needs about 2000 calories per day, but a single Whopper Value Meal with large fries and a large drink has 1375 calories.  And Costco is now selling 80-inch televisions.

For seventy years, the mantra for Americans has been that more is better. More space, more things, more horsepower, more calories, more choices and more debt.  The consequence of three generations of increased accumulation and consumption is a federal debt approaching $16 trillion, 25 million diabetics, student loans topping $1 trillion, a decaying infrastructure, lengthier commutes and a widespread fear that America's best days are behind her.

As depressing as all of this sounds, all hope is not lost.  At their core, Americans are incredibly resilient and uniquely inventive. The yearning for a richer life isn't about to end, but the definition of "rich" is undergoing a dramatic makeover. The push for less personal and government debt is an encouraging sign.  Automobiles are becoming amazingly efficient, and a generation from now 50+ MPG vehicles will be common.  Digital technology is transforming the workplace by making it possible for many employees to work from home or at remote offices where traffic is less of a problem.  And there are signs that the diabetes/obesity tsunami may have crested.

The "Age of More" may not be over yet, but it is fading fast.  And a new "Age of Balance" is emerging.

 


 


2/9/2014
Numerous news reports have covered the fact that, in an unprecedented move, Iran’s navy has dispatched several ships to the Atlantic Ocean with orders that will take them close to US maritime borders.  This effort is a bid to show case the ability of Iran to project power. Meanwhile US defense officials seemingly shrugged off the small fleet’s deployment as an “announcement, not deployment.” More from CNN.
2/4/2014
As China moves to industrialize and modernize further, it has begun to experience the push and stress of urbanization.  As these pressures move further from established cities, villages are feeling the squeeze and so are the traditions that these villages help preserve, leading some to fear for the future of Chinese culture. According to one report between 2000 and 2010, 300 villages were lost each day. Leading to a 1.1 million village reduction in just one decade.
2/1/2014
It wasn’t just two major NFL teams clashing in New York during the Super Bowl, major proponents and opponents of marijuana legalization took to the event and surrounding events to promote their agendas. Billboards in the area pushed the pro- or con- perspective even linking the debate to safety issues in football according to a New York Times article.
1/20/2014
As Fairfax struggles to manage its deer population, it has decided to attempt what is billed as a “humane” alternative to deer hunts – sterilization.  The hope is that this program can be used in other parts of Virginia which are also experiencing deer overpopulation.