The global disruptions since 2007 have ironically improved the odds of the international community avoiding multiple global crises in the future. The unexpected wild repercussions have concentrated everybody’s minds, and as a result the time is now right for change. The slew of world crises is not necessarily the prelude to the often-proposed New World Order – a term beloved of leading statesmen and conspiracy theorists alike – but it can certainly help.
We will never get a better time than this. Prior to the Credit Crunch that kicked off in 2007-8 and prior to the relative failure of the Copenhagen Climate Change conference in 2009, we were all probably too arrogant and overconfident to challenge the root causes of globally-defined threats to our collective security. We did not think we needed to. We felt we could pretty-well get away with anything, even if that did require a heroic global effort with world statesmen flying into Denmark on their private jets to save the world. It was all very Hollywood. But it did not work. With the very best of intentions, and with the very best of humanity playing their very best shots – it did not work. And if things are left as they currently are, it never will.
But that now seems unlikely. Without its recent bruising from unprecedented economic crises and unresolved manmade global warming, the international community would likely have just carried on regardless. Business, institutional and political leaders would have left it too late to try something new. But not now. Instead, the new-found humility of the world economy’s leaders and their recently-recognized vulnerability grant us all a very real chance to break free of the old ways of doing things. The continuing shockwaves from the 2008 recession, and governments’ sustained failure to address climate-change satisfactorily, and the uncertain long-term outcomes of the 2011 swell of Arab rebellions – could not have all come at a better time.