Who would have thought just a few weeks ago that after having nearly tamed corona virus and with countries starting to try to implement a road map to mitigate climate catastrophe World War 3 was on the horizon and not just that but that we are only minutes away from a potential nuclear catastrophe like we had not been threatened with for over 50 years.
Growing up when reading about potential problems for the future one threat that was talked about was the concept of climate change wars. This being a situation where nations and people would be increasingly fighting for ever decreasing resourses and when I look to Putin and how his actions in the Ukraine are unfolding that is exactly what this is a violent and deadly grab for resources on his own boarder in the name of reunification of Ukraine to Russia. People are calling him mad which he might well be. But he is also cold and calculated and has so much to lose if his war goes wrong for him that I fear what is still yet to come for Ukraine and the those next in Putins sights.
He will surely see the West’s sanctions and his now global status diminished to that of leader of a pariah state as an act of war and further evidence in his own mind that the west has always hated Russia and it does not matter what he does he just can’t win . His political judgements are increasingly looking like the actions of a gambler on a heavy losing streak risking it all and yet having still not hit rock bottom. There are very little factors in place to stop him from creating more devastation for Ukraine and the planet and continue to role his dice and inflict his decisions on others again and again and again.
A leading academic called Harald Welzer , author of Climate Wars: Why People Will Be Killed in the 21st Century, stated back in November 2017 that “My belief is that we will see a renaissance of violent conflict in the 21st century, and that many of these conflicts will spring from climate change.”
A professor at the University of Flensburg in Germany, Welzer studies the cultural and political implications of climate change. His book, first published in 2012.
Twentieth-century wars were fought over land, religion, and economics. But Welzer argues that the wars of the 21st century will be fought over something quite different: climate change, and the shortages of water and food that will come from it.
“Ideology will always be a surface-level justification for conflict, But if you look deeply at the source of future conflicts, I think you’ll see a basic resource conflict at the bottom of it all.”
So with that in mind I don’t see Putin as just mad but I do see him as an incredibly dangerous individual with a large arsenal at his disposal and a lot to lose and nearly nothing left to gain. This is all very dark stuff that has been rattling around in my head for the last week. There are very few positive outcomes from this scenario should it have a hint of truth within it at all.
One of the biggest game changers for this conflict that has yet to state how it will act under the circumstances is that of China. China could embolden Russia to continue along a potentially catastrophic path or could be the peacemaker. Though Russia is on the brink of having lost global power and influence due to its invasion of Ukraine, China on the other hand is a powerful nation with more to gain from a thriving and more stable and peaceful world than it has to gain from one at nuclear war with itself. Putin might get to a point where he feels that he has nothing to lose by escalating a war to a nuclear crisis put China and President Xi Jinping will not be in such a hurry or have the belief and conviction concerning the necessity to set the world on fire.
China though having tried and failed to set out a coherent diplomatic position in the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is now attempting to position itself as a potential peacemaker to end the war.
That position has not entailed acknowledging that Russia has invaded Ukraine, let alone condemning it. But as China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in a call on 1 March, Beijing stood ready to support negotiations to reach a political settlement. According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Kuleba said he was willing to move forward with talks and “looked forward to China’s mediation efforts for the ceasefire”.
This horific real life story is in no way over and continues to unfold before our very eyes.