The times they are a changin’ sang Bob Dylan. As an example, the seasons show us short term changes. While the Earth’s axes points one of its poles toward or away from the Sun then the net energy deposited by the Sun on the Earth increases or decreases. In a surprisingly small angular variation, the climate on the Earth swings from the severely unpleasant heat of summer or the death defying cold of winter. Yet, farmers and city dwellers have learned to live with these changes.
One of the strongest tools supporting our adaptation to change is capitalism. This economic style enables producers to gauge the needs of the populace and to respond accordingly. If warm coats are needed in winter then enough are made. If schools need books with which to teach then books are printed. As vouchsafed by any MBA student, the only prerequisite to a product is demand. As long as we have consumers who consume then capitalism will lead us to a better future.
However, the changes brought on by capitalism aren’t wholly fruitful. Most products are derived from resources on the Earth. Most products require energy to design, fabricate and transport. The supply of resources on Earth is obviously finite. As a corollary, the Human Footprint grows greater every year. The long term change seems obvious; people will have to survive with fewer resources. Are we ready for those changing times?