2008 is over. For many global citizens this year may one day be described as the year of revelation. A full century of environmental and economic abuse along with political intrigue and deceit may have finally come into full view. It seems unlikely that we will continue much longer to accept the counsel of those who tell us that we must fill our world with poisonous chemicals and overexploit our natural resources or take senseless and frightening risks with the employment of new technologies. In the world of politics another range of possibilities is apparent. False pretensions and embedded assumptions of national sovereignty and liberal democracy are unlikely to be accepted without serious questioning in western industrialized nations. With the obvious no longer hidden we may not be as easily fooled ever again. This breakdown of assumed ‘norms’ truly represents the end of an era and it’s happening just at the time a positive feedback loop of Arctic warming kicks in to alter the planetary air conditioner of the Northern Hemisphere . Dramatic and unprecedented social and political change portends in the year that Prince Charles warned the world that we had 18 months to stop climate change. 
On 10th September last year the Maidstone Crown Court in the UK decided that “the threat of global warming is so great that [environmental] campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station.” Six Greenpeace activists were cleared of charges of criminal damage . Just as three of these British protesters responded to systemic collapse in the ecosphere (by painting Gordon Brown's name on the British coal plant's chimney as a metaphor for political accountability) Ben Bernanke of the US Federal Reserve responded to another global crisis with a slightly more concrete metaphor of his own. Helicopter drops of money were used to bail the rich out with increasingly worthless fiat money and on an absolutely extraordinary scale. The surviving handful of Wall Street banks hoarded cash and refused to lend to each other as their four-decades-long global ponzi scheme of money and credit manipulation fell apart . In turn this banking collapse was prompted by the oligopoly dynamics of concentrated economic power in a small number of corporate networks and conglomerates generally. Fictitious capital  grew at an ever-increasing rate and fomented unbelievable distortions in what we are told is ‘economic development’ across the globe but is actually a well-managed path designed to generate dependency on the global corporations along with the stronger states that sponsor them.
In 2008 it became clear to many more people that ‘globalisation’ was not a spontaneous result of ‘free market’ dynamics as we had been repeatedly told. Rather it was revealed to be “the deeply political result of political choices made by successive governments of one state: The United States” . Both Republican and Democratic administrations have used overt and covert means to topple democratically-elected governments around the world  and to tilt the balance of political and economic advantage unfairly towards North America in other ways .
2008 was the year when conventional wisdom became obsolete. It did not allow us to perceive the essential nature of things nor adequately anticipate the consequences of our actions. In 2008 everything became open to question. The ‘pluralism’ of the two-party system was found to be a delusion. There were no safeguards in place to protect against one group gaining too much power over the whole of society nor even the whole of the planet. How obvious it was that the private sector was not balanced by the public one as we saw ‘leaders’ in one national government after another working to a corporate narrow interest agenda. There are bad men on the Earth, after all.”...if nothing happens even though we're entering an ecological crisis of historic gravity, it's because those who have power in the world want it to be this way." 
The gift of 2008 is the revelation of important and critical truths. Its legacy is to come to terms with everything.
 Changes 'amplify Arctic warming'
By Jonathan Amos, Science reporter, BBC News. 16th December 2008
 Prince Charles: Eighteen months to stop climate change disaster. By Andrew Pierce
Last updated: 1:08 PM BST 18/05/2008
 Under the defence of "lawful excuse", a legal principle that “allows damage to be caused to property to prevent even greater damage” as quoted in the article:
Cleared: Jury decides that threat of global warming justifies breaking the law
By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor. Thursday, 11 September 2008
 A point had been reached where a huge volume of capital was held in such a small number of private hands that were largely outside any regulatory structure. This was accompanied by an even smaller number of trading and banking networks that resulted in a ‘common tilt’ in multinational corporations’ decisions and processes. See: ‘The World’s Money – International banking from Bretton Woods to the brink of insolvency’ by Michael Moffitt. Touchstone Book, Simon and Schuster New York. 1983. ISBN: 0-671-50596-3 Pbk.
 Instability in the global economy became inevitable, as global corporations played a zero sum game by combining high-productivity technologies with large, low-wage labour supplies in ‘under-developed’ nations. As economic power concentrated trade became dominated by non-market intra-corporate transactions where multinational corporations arbitrarily set unrealistic prices in exchanges between parent and affiliates in order to reduce taxes and tariffs, avoid currency exchange controls and optimize profits.
 paper claims on wealth (in the form of profit, interest and ground rent) in excess of the total available surplus value, plus available loot from primitive accumulation.
 The US was involved in coups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Iran (Operation Ajax in 1953) , in Ecuador (Jaime Roldos), Brazil (1964) in Vietnam, in Indonesia (1967), Panama, Guatemala (Operation PBSUCCESS in 1954), Chile (1973) Australia (1975), Somalia. It attempted coups in Cuba in the early 1960s. there were covert CIA operations in Laos. The JFK assassination has all the qualities of a coup.
There's a longer (but incomplete) list at:
 The Global Gamble: Washington's Faustian Bid for World Dominance by Peter Gowan.
 American US dollar hegemony, for instance, that entails other nations having to earn US dollars first in order to purchase critical commodities such as oil or have syndicated loans lent to the third world denominated in US dollars and be subject to unilateral interest rate decisions by the US Federal Reserve. (In 1979 US Fed Chairman Volker’s decision to limit money supply led to catastrophic rises in global interests rates that resulted in third world debt becoming permanently unpayable.)
 From Hervé Kempf's "How the Rich Are Destroying the Planet."