Billionaire George Soros, founder of Open Society, made a global analysis regarding climate change caused by human action, in which he praised President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).
In an article published on Thursday (16), with the title “Global warming, hot wars, closed societies”, he says that “human civilization runs the risk of collapsing, due to the inexorable advance of climate change”.
He also highlights that Lula will need “strong international support” to “protect the rainforest, promote social justice and reignite economic growth, all at the same time”:
I’ve spent my entire life trying to understand the world I was born into, and I can claim some modest success. At a relatively early age, I realized that our understanding is inherently imperfect. That’s because we are part of the world we live in. We are participants and observers. As participants, we want to change the world in our favor. As observers, we want to understand reality as it is. These two goals interfere with each other.
Interference does not affect all domains of reality equally. For example, natural scientists like astronomers can come close to perfect knowledge because they have an objective criterion, like the motion of the stars, that allows them to judge whether their predictions are correct.
Social scientists don’t have it so easy. People’s behavior already reflects their imperfect understanding. Therefore, it does not provide as reliable a criterion for social scientists as the motion of stars does for astronomers.
So how can we understand the current state of affairs? We must find a way to distinguish what is important from what is less important.
Let’s start with a bold statement. As two systems of governance fight for global dominance, our civilization is in danger of collapsing due to the relentless advance of climate change. This is a very succinct statement, but I believe it provides an accurate summary of the current state of affairs.
My statement links climate change, which primarily belongs to natural science, with systems of governance, which is a societal concept. I will discuss climate change first and governance systems later.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Greenland ice sheet, which is several kilometers deep and has built up over a thousand years. In July 2022, an extreme weather event occurred in Greenland. It was so hot that the scientists could play volleyball in short-sleeved shirts and shorts.
When I saw this, I sent a team of photographers to Greenland to collect visual evidence. They were present when a second event took place in September and recorded it live.
Melting the Greenland ice sheet would raise sea levels by seven metres. This poses a threat to the survival of our civilization. I wasn’t willing to accept this fate, so I tried to find out if anything could be done to avoid it. I was referred to David King, a climate scientist who had been the chief scientific adviser to previous British governments.
Circular wind used to keep cold air inside the Arctic Circle and warm air outside. Now, cold air leaks out of the Arctic and is replaced by warm air that is sucked in from the south. This explains, among other things, the Arctic blast that hit the United States last Christmas and the cold snap that hit Texas recently.
The Arctic Ocean used to be covered in pure snow and ice that reflected the sun in what is called the “albedo effect”. But rising temperatures have caused the ice to melt and the Greenland ice sheet is no longer so pristine; it’s covered in soot from last year’s wildfires on America’s west coast, Arctic shipping, and other causes.
David King has a plan to repair the climate system. He wants to recreate the albedo effect by creating white clouds high above the earth. With the proper scientific safeguards and in consultation with local indigenous communities, this project can help restore the Arctic climate system, which governs the entire global climate system.
The message is clear: human interference has destroyed a previously stable system, and human ingenuity, both local and international, will be needed to restore it. Currently, virtually all efforts to combat climate change are focused on mitigation and adaptation. They are necessary but not sufficient.
The weather system is broken and needs to be fixed. This is the main message I would like to convey.
(…) There are many other regional powers that can influence the course of history. Brazil stands out. The election of the president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, at the end of last year, was crucial. On January 8, there was a coup attempt much like the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Lula masterfully conducted the attempted coup and established his authority as president.
Brazil is at the forefront of the conflict between open and closed societies; it is also on the front lines of the fight against climate change.
Lula it must protect the rainforest, promote social justice and reignite economic growth all at the same time. It will need strong international support because there is no path to net zero emissions if it fails. (…)
My hope for 2024 is that Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida will fight for the Republican nomination. Trump has turned into a pitiful figure, continually complaining about his 2020 defeat. Major Republican donors are abandoning him in droves. DeSantis is cunning, ruthless and ambitious. He will likely be the Republican nominee.
That could induce Trump to run as a third-party candidate. It would lead to a landslide victory for the Democrats and force the Republican Party to reform. But maybe I might be a little biased here.
In conclusion, I want to repeat what I said at the beginning: as open and closed societies fight for global dominance, our civilization is in danger of collapsing due to the relentless advance of climate change. I believe that accurately sums up the current state of affairs.
I also believe that an open society is superior to a closed society and I feel sorry for people who must live under repressive regimes such as Assad’s Syria, Belarus, Iran and Myanmar.
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