The drug is oil, topsoil, trees, metal, any resource that can be exploited. And the addiction is what we call "growth" or "progress" or, when we're really confused, "evolution." The addiction is the feeling, "not good enough, more, MORE, better, BETTER!" This is a great time for learning, because some people have billions of dollars and their craving is worse than ever. The crash will be a great time for learning because we'll see where a culture of increase leads.
I agree with Alicia that it would be wonderful to master a level of social and technological complexity above the stone age. But I don't think we're anywhere near that mastery. What that mastery will feel like is having an open liquor cabinet right next to you, and hardly ever thinking about it, and only taking a little drink now and then. What it will look like is humans all over the world keeping population, resource consumption, and technological complexity in a stable state, moving gently around a point of equilibrium, until the sun burns out, while the forests grow. - Ran Prieur, November 1 2006