There’s an exceptional Thomas L. Friedman column called “Is The Inflection Near?” in today’s N.Y. Times (although it’s technically dated 3.7.09).

“We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China,” it explains, “powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese…

“We can’t do this anymore.”

Friedman’s basic idea is that because things are so bad, “people are realizing we need more than incremental changes — and we’re seeing the first stirrings of growth in smarter, more efficient, more responsible ways. Often in the middle of something momentous, we can’t see its significance. But for me there is no doubt [that] 2008 will be the marker — the year when The Great Disruption began.”