Fears, brutes and the climate crisis

Let’s assume this year your daughter will be 17. In 2060, when you will most likely be either dead or too old to care about anything, she will be 54. What will the world look like then?

In material terms, probably much better than now. The majority of the world's population will belong to the middle class and live in urban environments. The proportion of prosperity and urbanization will be unprecedented in the history of the sapiens - it already is, but compared to the world of 2060, the world of today will look poor and rural.

That is unless the governance infrastructure that allows people to co-exist in diverse societies can remain at least as functional as it is today.

Because, climatically speaking, the world of 2060 will look much worse than it does today - and this will certainly have an impact on prosperity levels too.

In 2060, we will have whole regions of the world facing a freshwater crisis. We are already witnessing this now, in South Africa or Pakistan, for example, but in 2060 the crisis will be much more widespread.

The level of migration in 2060 will be on a scale not seen for thousands of years. And if the low to moderate level of migration we have seen since 2013 has produced such a violent backlash, bringing to power far-right or populist right-wing movements, from Trump to Salvini and from Bolsonaro to Duterte, or generating new forms of populist socialism, it is to be expected that the level of migration in 2060 will lead to the collapse of states that are still solid today.

Because migration in 2060 will be about survival. People will simply flee in the face of death, with the savagery of somebody trying to save their life. We are therefore talking about population movements that are not only much more massive, but also much more violent than those of today, and which even the most firm and authoritarian governments will not be able to cope with.

Even in those parts of the world where it will still be possible to live decently from a climatic point of view, in those countries towards which millions of people will migrate simultaneously from around the world, extreme weather events will become the norm.

The societies that today live in those regions will not be any luckier than others. They too will be brought to the brink of disintegration by mass migration and extreme weather.

If we do not wake up urgently, this is what the world will look like in 2060 - just the way the Mediterranean world looked 3500 years ago, when it could not cope with the natural cataclysms that struck it and led to the extinction of ancient civilizations, the best known being the Mycenaean one. Only this time the crisis will no longer be local, but global.

That's why we call it a climate crisis. That's why children and teenagers in the West are striking today - because they will be the adults of the world in 2060; they will suffer the consequences of our blindness today.

Climate change is ideologically neutral, just like death. It doesn't care whether you're right or left, vicious or virtuous, smart or imbecile, conspiracy-minded or sane - it will hit you just as hard.

And if we don't understand that and start acting on it right away, to our children and grandchildren we will be nothing but monsters, no matter how admiringly we look at ourselves in the mirror and how good parents or grandparents we think we are.

From their point of view, we will be nothing but hideous brutes who have delivered them, beyond our presumed good intentions, a world full of nightmares.