2020 has turned out to be a villain for humanity due to coronavirus pandemic. There is no doubt that all these events occurring together have shocked the world, but the question is if all these were predictable and could be avoided or not. The answer is yes. What has happened in 2020 suddenly is actually due to some structural reasons which if not addressed can even threaten the survival of the human race on the Earth.
To have a look into how these disastrous 2020 were predictable and deeply rooted in the far and near past let’s analyze a few of these separately.
There were some lethal diseases that have vanished now due to vaccines; this indeed proves the success of human beings in fighting contagions. But science does know that the risk of contagions is not over yet; still, governments don’t seem active on preparing in advance for these foreseeable dangers. Governments across the world focus more on combating the unseen threats. Even if there is no such threat they just create it with their frenzy and uncalled for the armed race. There doesn’t seem to have some coordinated and dedicated effort on creating special departments, research institutes, and task-forces that can deal with such dangers. The coronavirus pandemic has already revealed how necessary it is to be prepared for such pandemics in advance since they are capable of crippling the usual functioning of the world.
Australian bushfires that started in 2019 are not really the 2020 phenomenon. But their strong impacts were felt in the same year too. The disaster heralds how severe the extent of climate change is and the danger it poses for the natural resources life forests which are necessary for the healthy functioning of the eco-system.
Now when the world is entering another decade, there is a need for the countries and world leaders to take the climate change issue seriously.
US-China Trade Wars
We are living in the era of globalization but we haven’t come over the needless urges of making our countries great even if requires us to endanger world peace or engage in unhealthy business practices. US-China trade wars followed by the dominance of Chinese corporates and prospects of China emerging as an economic superpower have consequences not only for the world’s economy but also for the world’s peace.
The killing of Iran’s General Soleimani and shooting down of Ukrainian plane by Iran almost brought the world to the brink of a third world war. Again, this danger that seemed more imminent and substantial was not really a 2020 phenomenon. The clash between the United States and Iran is decades old and it presents a grave threat to not only world peace but present world order. It is highly required for both nations to think about something for the survival of humanity as well.
The attack of locusts on crops in Africa and Asia is an issue linked with climate change but it can jeopardize the food supply in upcoming months. Locusts that feed upon the food crops directly put the financial status of farmers at risk. At the same time, they can cause food shortages in other areas as well. Consequently, millions of people on the planet can face starvation.
Coronavirus pandemic, US-China Trade war, and other such events have halted economic growth. The world’s economy is in recession with millions of people losing their jobs and companies going bankrupt. Externalities that can cause such recessions are usually predictable even if not then a chance of an economic slump due to unforeseeable externalities or vulnerabilities of the present system is always there. What the world needs is to come up with plans that ensure to prevent recessions at least to an extent that they can put the survival of human beings on this planet at risk.
It is 21st century. The historians have seen a lot and they are also able to predict possible issues on the basis of it. What the world lacks is a coherent, integrated, and well-coordinated plan to provide a cushion against all such externalities that make the years like 2020 worst.