Trend Watch: What’s Hot?

“And it’s been a long time coming. It showed up in the early eighties as ‘the Peter Pan Syndrome,’ then mutated to the yuppie, which, let’s face it, has had a pretty good run. Later, it took the form that David Brooks called ‘bourgeois bohemians,’ or bobos (as in Bobos in Paradise). Over in England, they’re now calling them yindies (that’s yuppie plus indie), and here, the term yupster (you can figure that out) has been gaining some traction of late. And as this movement evolves, something pivotal is happening. This cascade of pioneering immaturity is no longer a case of a generation’s being stuck in its own youth. This generation is now, if you happen to be under 25, more interested in being stuck in your youth.” – Up With Grups: The Ascendent Breed of Grown-Ups Who Are Redefining Adulthood, by Adam Sternbergh, New York, April 3, 2006.

“But glaciers, it turns out, can move with surprising speed, and so can nature. What few people reckoned on was that global climate systems are booby-trapped with tipping points and feedback loops, thresholds past which the slow creep of environmental decay gives way to sudden and self-perpetuating collapse. Pump enough CO2 into the sky, and that last part per million of greenhouse gas behaves like the 212th degree Fahrenheit that turns a pot of hot water into a plume of billowing steam. Melt enough Greenland ice, and you reach the point at which you’re not simply dripping meltwater into the sea but dumping whole glaciers. By one recent measure, several Greenland ice sheets have doubled their rate of slide, and just last week the journal Science published a study suggesting that by the end of the century, the world could be locked in to an eventual rise in sea levels of as much as 20 ft. Nature, it seems, has finally got a bellyful of us.” – Polar Ice Caps Are Melting Faster Than Ever… More And More Land Is Being Devastated By Drought… Rising Waters Are Drowning Low-Lying Communities… By Any Measure, Earth Is At … The Tipping Point, by Jeffrey Kluger, Time, April 3, 2006.