I. The shit is already hitting the fan, folks; nothing can be done to stop it, and very little, at this point, to ameliorate it. The easy pickings of the fossil fuels we've been running on the last 300 years are gone (not to worry, for now, at least, because the production and burning of said fuels will continue, albeit ever more sparingly and sporadically, until nobody can make any more money from it). Habitat destruction, climate change, and the continuing, ubiquitous poisoning of the entire planet have already launched us into Earth's 6th Great Extinction, which will now run its course. The great "elite" economic enterprise of theft and slavery, especially as manifested in the last 500 years or so as the ideology and practice of capitalism, is finally showing itself to be a house of cards, a gigantic chain letter which has finally hit its end. Depressing? Yes, if you're happy with the way things have been going for the last 15,000 years. The only consolation, if that it may be called, is that the brunt of this great unraveling will likely not fall upon us of the infamous baby-boom generation (the last who had a real chance to make a difference, which we blew, spectacularly), or even our children, but their children will almost assuredly begin paying the price.
II. Though there's little basis for real hope in the short- and middle-term, there is reason for great hope on the other side of the impending crash (slow-motion as may be). For starters, we are in desperate need of a drastic reduction (something in the neighborhood of an order of magnitude) in the sheer numbers of humans on this planet - and that is coming, one way or another, like it or not. For another thing, the institutions and practices that have been foisted upon us, by the thieves and slave-holders who have been so proud to call them "civilization," and that we have so docilely accepted, will be swept away, if for no other reason, by the utter lack of resources needed to support them. Ain't gonna be no rich folks like what we got now after what's coming, and that'll be the best chance in thousands of years to make sure there won't ever be any more.
III. What is still available to us old folks now is the opportunity to teach - and the best way to do that is by example. If we want change, as we claim, then we must start practicing that change in our daily lives and in our way of thinking. It is not enough to belong to or contribute to some organization or political action committee, or to march and carry signs in some demonstration or protest, or even to vote for a candidate (though a few, especially at the local level, are deserving of a vote) if we are not, at the same time, practicing real change every day. (For this notion [and much more besides] I am forever indebted to Mr. Wendell Berry; c.f. especially Chapter 2 of The Unsettling Of America.)
I offer an example from my own life, not to pat myself on the back or to proclaim my moral superiority, but to illustrate the kind of practice I'm talking about: In the past 33 years, I have not owned an automobile for 30 of them. For the first 7 years, it was much more a matter of necessity than virtue: I just couldn't afford a car. Then, from 1986 to 1989, I could (or thought I could) have one, which I did. Then, hitting another lean stretch, I went carless again, and though, later, I could once again have bought and operated one on several occasions, I've refrained, mostly because I've discovered that I can survive without one. Yes, there are many times I miss (sometimes sorely) the convenience of not having a car; but I have saved myself many many thousands of dollars by not having one, and I've also avoided injecting well over 200,000 pounds of CO2 into the air, and adding to the habitat destruction and social breakdown directly attributable to automobiles - not to mention contributing to the bottom line of some corporation. Near as I can figure, there are something like 7 million undecided voters in this presidential election. Can you imagine the effect these people, representing a bit more or less than 5% of eligible voters, would have if they parked their cars for even one year? A damn sight more far-reaching in many more dimensions, I assure you, than whether they vote for Obama or Romney.
IV. Dismantle your TV with a heavy blunt instrument, and do it immediately after reading this. The last event worth watching on TV was the Watergate story; before that, the JFK assassination. Everything else is highly refined and nearly perfected indoctrination, designed to make you a docile "consumer" of whatever notions, none of them ever explicit, the sponsors want you to respond to. You will not be able to even begin thinking clearly until you've completed this prerequisite.
... wanting good government in their states, they first established order in their own families; wanting order in the home, they first disciplined themselves ... - Confucius, The Great DigestYou don't need to wait for anybody else. Start today. "If not us, who? If not now, when?"