In all actuality I don't see these times as being all that "extreme".
Oftentimes people who lack historical perspective or they're looking for signs that correlate with things mentioned in the book of Revelations. The gap between the haves and have nots is wider.
If we compared today with some past events it's not even close!
World War I & World War II (Several nations at war/The Holocaust )
The Great Depression - Unemployment was as high as 25%!
The Cuban Missile Crisis - Threat of nuclear war with Russia
The bubonic/black plague - Over a 5 year period (25 Million) died.
1931 China floods - Estimates of 1-4 million people died.
1972 Iran blizzard - 4000 people died
I believe it's our (fear and uncertainty) about the future that makes many of us feel we're living in extreme times. It's about what may happen in the future not what is happening this very moment.
Perception is reality.
People who are laying out in the sun on a beach in Cancun or Bora Bora aren't likely to see the state of the world as being all gloom and doom. People who are (unhappy with their own lives) tend to take a negative view of the world itself. They hate changes they see.
A "known past" is far more appealing than an "unknown future".
As bad as many people feel things are these days they will be looked upon by their children's as being the "good ole days"!
Each generation is more liberal culturally & socially than the previous the generation. Traditions and values change as well.
Generally speaking the younger a person is the more optimistic they are about the future. It's older folks who long for a life in the past.