Prophecies of doom

Prepare to be scared.

Most of us realise we live in a dangerous world – every day we wake up to news of one catastrophe after another: bomb explosions, rampaging gunmen, coups, forest fires etc. Where the cause of these disasters is natural (earthquakes, floods) there is not much the authorities can do about it, appart from taking some preventive measures. But in the case of man-made catastrophes, such as terrorist attacks, cataclysmic economic failures, the refugee crisis – it is amazing that every single time the authorities appear stumped and stupefied. They seem to find even perceptible problems impossible to predict; and, when something does happens, they try to bolt the stable door after the proverbial horse has fled, making speeches of regret and apology, and promising to alleviate the victims’ sufferings (unreliably) and manage things better next time (improbably).

To my knowledge, nobody had predicted the three major disasters of the last fifteen years (the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, and the Arab Spring uprising in 2011), despite the existence of (highly-paid) analysts and think-tanks. On the other hand, when people make predictions, they often prove unfounded. For instance, P. Kennedy in his book The rise and fall of the great powers’, had foreseen the decline of the USA. Instead, Russia disintegrated, leaving the USA as the dominant world power.


Soothing swan photo
Soothing swan photo


In an article written for the Books’ Journal, Greek professor P. K. Ioakimidis points all this out, and goes on to anticipate some possible major threats for the years to come:

The disintegration of the EU, which is experiencing an unprecedented crisis, enhanced by Brexit (see J. R. Gillingham’s ‘The EU, an obituary’).

An attack from Russia on Europe. Unlikely, perhaps, but not impossible (given Putin’s exploits in the Ukraine, Crimea and Georgia).

Nuclear war involving the US, Russia and China. A nightmarish scenario, but can an accident be precluded?

Use of the atom bomb by terrorists. Another apocalyptic development, should they happen to get hold of a dirty bomb and unleash it on a major capital city.

Revolution or civil war in China. China is going through a difficult transition, with all the dangers this entails. And the country is too big to be totally controllable.

Civil war in India, between Muslims and Hindus. This would cause huge repercussions worldwide because of the enormous population.

Revolution in Saudi Arabia, which is a very closed society with hidden undercurrents.

The globalization of the Islam conflict with the West.

A major technological accident either in the sector of physics or in the sector of biology.

Autumn bounty
Autumn bounty

Hopefully, none of these fears will come to pass. Or, maybe something completely different will happen, with unforeseen consequences upon the world as we know it. As we speak, the increasing shifts in populations and the spread of terrorism, whether we want to acknowledge it or not – whether we believe it is our problem or not – are two things that have already had a major impact on most of our lives.

In Greece, at the moment, we are experiencing at first hand two potentially life-altering  events:
The first is the changing in the climate. All the Mediterranean region will eventually become sub-tropical. This apparently is due less to carbon emissions by cars, cows farting, aerosol cans, etc than to the effect of all the wars in the Middle East.
The second is the influx of a huge amount of foreigners, of a totally different culture, religion, and language, upon a population of eleven million, of which one are already immigrants. These have been remarkably well assimilated, so far, but there will soon be real issues of percentages, as well as of limited resources.

I wonder what everyone thinks about this – perhaps I am exaggerating, but it does frighten me to see how relatively little is done about all these issues. And history is not very reassuring, either.

Red Alert

I feel so sorry for the people in Paris who went out to have a drink on a Friday night and lost their lives. I feel for their families and friends. But I feel a lot of anger as well. Have we lost the right to even walk in the street safely anymore? Is this the new face of 21st century Europe?

imageIs it just me, or is there a dire lack of leadership in the western world? They all meet at vast expense to the taxpayer and a huge carbon footprint (five star hotels, fleets of planes and cars, police escorts…) but – whether about the climate, the refugee crisis or the terrorists – nothing gets done. A total lack of a coherent policy on which everyone agrees. It’s frightening. After each terrible event, people get arrested, words of bravado are flung around, the dead are remembered. But – do we feel something is actually being done to protect us? Not enough, with all due respect. I ask, what is the use of bombing in the Middle East, when most of these terrorists have French, British or Belgian passports?

Greece is now facing the borders being closed, and we’ll be stuck with half a million refugees in a tiny country with a population of 11 million (of which one million are already immigrants, mostly from Eastern Europe). Compared to this, the USA has said it will take 30.000 over the next two years… And who meddled in those countries, creating all those refugees, may I ask? Not Greece, that’s for sure. It’s all about financial interests, oil, the arms industries, etc. And, everywhere, it’s the man in the street who pays. The taxpayer, the citizen who wants nothing but a quiet life, as well as the true refugee who will now be regarded with suspicion by all.

Forgive the rant, but does Europe really need to be dragged into another war?