21st century pessimism has many faces. There is the knowledge that we are in the process of destroying the planet, and that we may have already passed the point of no return. There is the growing sense that things will not be better for the next generation, that children will never be able to live up to the accomplishments of their parents in this age of diminished expectations.
While the notion that the apocalypse is just upon us can be found throughout history (and the doomsayers are always proved wrong), this idea happens to sit quite comfortably among our set of contemporary anxieties and disorders.
The world is changing so fast and we can't make sense of it. Ergo, the world must be coming to an end.