Happy New Year? January 2, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Thinking about 2017 this article by George Monbiot in November comes to mind. In it he lists thirteen ‘impossible crises’ that humanity faces. Whether Brexit is a crisis for all humanity or just the portion of same on this island, the one to the east and in the EU or no crisis at all is open to discussion. But he’s not far wrong that it is a major, potentially global problem. I would argue that above and beyond Trump and Brexit the two key ones are as follows:
7. Job-eating automation
Automation will destroy jobs on an unprecedented scale, and because the penetration of information technology into every part of the economy is not a passing phase but an escalating trend, it is hard to see how this employment will be replaced. No government or major political party anywhere shows any sign of comprehending the scale of this issue.
10. The Paris climate agreement trashed
National climate change programmes bear no connection to the commitments governments made at Paris. Even if these programmes are fully implemented (they won’t be), they set us on a climate-change trajectory way beyond that envisaged by the agreement. And this is before we know what Trump will do.
Though this one was new to me and is deeply worrying too…
12. … with just 60 harvests left
According to the UN food and agriculture organisation, at current rates of soil loss we have 60 years of harvests left.
Monbiot’s analysis concludes:
One of the peculiarities of this complex, multiheaded crisis is that there appears to be no “other side” on to which we might emerge. It is hard to imagine a realistic scenario in which governments lose the capacity for total surveillance and drone strikes; in which billionaires forget how to manipulate public opinion; in which a broken EU reconvenes; in which climate breakdown unhappens, species return from extinction and the soil comes back to the land. These are not momentary crises, but appear to presage permanent collapse.
Cheerful – eh?