Why the word Meltdown in the title of the book? With the world heating up, bush fires wiping out whole communities, money markets and economic systems collapsing, mining operations replacing quality farming land, factory chemicals poisoning the waterways, the natural environment being destroyed, and whole societies being displaced, we are indeed witnessing a meltdown. People are now very concerned and some are afraid for their futures. Does the human race, or at least sections of the populations in different countries of the world hold beliefs about, and attitudes towards, social and ecological issues such as climate change and futurist scenarios that are apocalyptic? In a completely different vein, are they prepared to take action about their environmentally unfriendly behaviours? Are all the natural disasters that have beset the world in the past decade an indicator that the world is about to end, particularly coupled with famine, war and pestilence, and lately the breakdown in the global economic systems, all having been prophesised by different seers and religious leaders?
This book is timely and in some ways timeless; the issues discussed within its pages are matters that are of interest to all people across the world and really across time. In this book, there are a number of chapters that focus on the theoretical positions and cognition about fears and concerns for the future, in different segments of the world's population. There are other chapters that describe nature's situation as it is today, with water shortages, threats of sea-level rise, loss of forests, habitats and wildlife in various parts of the globe. These chapters demonstrate the complexities involved in attempting to understand which aspects relate to climate change, which aspects are distinct from climate change, and indeed which aspects were already in existence, but have been, and will be, exacerbated by climate change influences. The four basic elements of life - fire, water, earth and air - are covered by contributions on bush fires, floods, drought, water shortages, and air pollution.