Monday, 6 March 2017

Things Can Only Get Worse

'Believe that things will get better, for the excellent reason that they have always done so'. Simon Jenkins
They do until they don't. History is cyclical and Progress is a myth. Europe was spared war only because of the balance of terror created by nuclear weapons and the shift towards Cold War proxy conflicts elsewhere. The Middle East is descending in to a potential regionwide conflagration and Saudi Arabia could collapse soon.

The consequences of the rupture in global oil supplies for an already increasingly fragile world economy would be devastating. Across the world, the material progress Jenkins lauds is based on environmental devastation and is causing accelerating climate change. It is also creating geopolitical competition over access to resources.

Even before Trump was elected President, the complicated wars in the Middle East and tensions in Eastern Europe and East Asia were difficult for Obama to handle. The nuclear weapons threshold was being diminished by both NATO and Russia. A completely inexperienced administrations could well mishandle these crises.

The potential for devastating conflicts over resources and mass democide through wars over water and food is likely. The wars in Syria and Ukraine are partly about rivalry over gas pipeline routes between East and West. Developed consumer societies require profligate energy use, so energy security is another factor for instability.

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