The 20th Century saw the growth of the global economy, led by the US, at the expense of divestment of natural material wealth, particularly oil. The 21st Century began with the explosion of debt as the money virus infected the economies of many developed countries. Developing countries are doing their best to emulate this perceived progress. This unsustainable process is coming to an end. So is the high material standard of living of the middle classes.
Economic growth, without taking into account ecological costs, has been fostered by governments and business to grow their wealth, regardless of the impact on the masses or the environment. But nature will inevitably fight back. Irreversible rapid climate change is one unintended consequence of the ravishing of its life support system by civilization. Other will follow as civilization enters its senescence.
Society will slowly wake up to what has gone wrong. The smart ones will rise to the challenge of instilling measures that will ease the inevitable powering down by ensuring the provision of the essentials, food, water, shelter, sanitation, education, health care and security. At the same time, efforts will be made to retain the worthwhile features of current society in the arts, science and knowledge fields. This will entail relearning some of the fundamental skills, including farming, to enhance community living.