Interestingly John Prescott recently used the Titanic in an analogy about the current national political and economic situation. Of course he was quoted out of context but.... freudian slips and all that.
From the perspective of environmental issues, a breakdown in confidence of the current macro economic model will be a welcomed development. The belief that a healthy economic environment will arrive by freeing financial markets and consumer choice appears to have been a wrong belief. It appears that regulation is required, at some sort of level. Also hopefully the whole idea that all the worlds problems can be solved by economics will be justifiably challenged.
Well hopefully at the end of all this there will be a wake up call. There is more to management of the economic, social and natural environment than just economic considerations. If problems of the environment (another word for everything) are to be solved than it will take a unified management strategy to solve them- the bankers and business men can not be trusted to do it on their own. If there is a model which should be used to govern the environment, then this model has to take in many more criteria than just economic factors.
Such a model will involve more interest groups to be heard and expressed. Hopefully the current crisis we are in ('the biggest financial crisis since the great depression') will provide that opportunity. But between then and now- it could be pretty bumpy. I think I will make sure I am not too far away from a life boat:-).