The current global financial crisis transcends all boundaries. It has – or will – affect us all; the nations in which we live, the institutions we work for and the fabric of our lives. Kevin Rudd, the Australian PM, likens the crisis to a series of ‘Rolling national security crises.’
Patrick Lagadec, whose articles in CRJ have exhorted us to train ourselves to think creatively when reacting to hitherto unimaginable scenarios, warns the readers of Le Figaro and the Financial Times (as well as CRJ readers on page 8) that those in charge must not fall into the trap of saying everything is under control. Crises and events move too fast, are too erratic, chaotic and complex. The crisis highlights our vulnerabilities, exposing the inherent dynamic instabilities of complex social and economic systems.
Does this not sound rather familiar?
According to Laurence Gray of World Vision: “Just as in the debate over the financial crisis, climate change too has been marked by warnings, denials, anger, blame, grandstanding, a questioning of the forces at work and demands that the system – or the ecosystem – be left to correct itself.” What is lacking from global leaders with regards to climate change is a sense of foreboding, urgency and action, he adds.
Three trends of climate change which have particular significance for emergency responders are outlined on page 30.
We cannot predict exactly where the world’s economic situation, or the effects of climate change will lead us. But, to echo Dr Lagadec: Now is the time to start thinking creatively, to demonstrate individual and collective resourcefulness. We are truly in uncharted territory.