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The End of Stability

As this summer’s unprecedented heatwaves in both China and Europe have shown, the climate crisis will continue to amplify new geopolitical and economic crises. Whereas most crises historically have occurred within the existing system, we are now facing the end of the system itself.

BERLIN – The world is reeling from an extraordinary confluence of crises, including Russia’s war of aggression in Europe, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, sweeping trade and supply-chain disruptions, inflation, food insecurity, and all the morbid symptoms of climate change. Though the world order built after World War II was far from perfect, it at least provided stability and ample opportunities for international cooperation. But now, it seems to be falling apart.

Russia, a nuclear great power, has attacked its neighbor for no good reason, indiscriminately murdering those whom it still calls its “brothers” and “sisters.” For six months now, the Kremlin has waged a bloody campaign of conquest that is more befitting of the 1940s than the 2020s.

And Eastern Europe is not alone. The specter of war – and a conflict between the twenty-first century’s two superpowers – also looms over the Taiwan Strait. China is escalating its military threat against Taiwan, and thereby increasing the risk of a direct armed confrontation with the United States.

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