Could modern civilisation break down? Yes, of course it could. Anyone who rejects this statement as alarmist, should watch The Age of Consequences.
We can start with August 23, 2005, as New Orleans is hit by Hurricane Katarina. The ensuing flood led to chaos, and hit both security measures and society’s self-regulation. What would have happened if several large US cities had been struck simultaneously? Would there have been a risk that things spiralled completely out of control, whereby the State and civil society both lost their stabilising powers? Whenever such questions arise, we often imagine they stem from environmentalists or green politicians. This time, however, the concerned message sprung from an unusual end, making it even more interesting.
Many assume that a society’s degree of welfare and security is all about oil profits, military systems and so on. This idea barely touches the surface. A society’s long term stability is more decisive, anchored in state organising, democratic politics and smooth societal and economic structures. Such elements are, however, surrounded by something other and more profound. Nature’s stability is a necessary concern so a sustainable society can be established over time. This is not only the case for all societies, but also for humanity as a whole. Over the course of 12,000 years, we have developed within the frames of a balanced and thus predictable natural environment. There are signs that this state has now passed, and that over the years its consequences could grow in scope and strength.
This time, however, the concerned message sprung from an unusual end, making it even more interesting.
Although some pretends otherwise, the climate debate has long since moved away from the question of whether climate change is real or not. Instead, there are now more practical issues surrounding what risks we are facing, plus how and with which means we are able to implement a green shift. The documentary The Age of Consequences grabs hold of this issue, and provides a voice for players other than the ones we encounter. Reports from and interviews with people in the US military provide an important backdrop to the developing story.
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