Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy new year from Cassandra

Despite all her magic spells, sometimes even Cassandra has troubles in predicting the future.
(image: painting by John Waterhouse)

Every year, during the past few years, I have been publishing a post with my predictions for the new year on my Italian blog. I think I have been rather successful in this role of mine as Cassandra, the prophetess. Sometimes, I have been surprised myself of how accurate some of my statements have been. For instance, at the beginning of 2008 I said something about a coming financial crisis and how I expected oil prices to crash (I stated that also in English, here and here). And, at the beginning of 2011, I said that I expected big troubles for the European Union (see here, in Italian). You see? I think I should be scared of what I have been doing. But, in reality, it was nothing more than common sense, good data,  and the general attitude that things never stay the same.

So, how about the coming year? I was planning to write something about what 2012 could bring but, this time, it is beyond my possibilities; I am overwhelmed. The situation is so complex, so unstable, so desperately out of control that, really, anything can happen. And most of the things that can happen are bad. War in Middle East, the breakdown of the European Union, financial collapses, the bursting up of Arctic methane, epidemics, famines, major environmental disasters..... Anything can happen, even that 2012 could be, miraculously, a quiet year.

So, all what I can say is "happy new year" to everybody and hope, just hope, that Cassandra's predicting power could make this wish true.


Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)