The Age of Consequences
Regissør: Jared P. Scott

Hard-hitting new documentary draws the lines between the climate crisis and social unrest around the world.


Can modern civilization break down? Yes, of course it can. Those who reject such a claim and refer to it as "alarmism" should take the time to look The Age of Consequences.

We can start the 23. August 2005, when New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina. The flood that followed caused havoc and threatened both security systems and society's self-regulation. What would happen if several major US cities were hit at the same time? Could things get completely out of control, whereby both state power and civil society would have lost their stabilizing power? When questions like this are raised, it is easy to assume that environmentalists and green politicians are asking them. This time, however, the worry message comes from unexpected hold, which makes it extra interesting to listen.

Unstable nature. Many people assume that the degree of prosperity and security in a society is about oil revenues, the military system and so on – but such a thought only touches the surface. The long-term stability of society is more crucial, with anchoring in state organization, democratic politics and well-functioning social and economic structures. However, these factors are surrounded by something else and more profound: the stability of nature. Such stability is necessary for sustainable societies to be established and exist over time. This also applies to humanity as a whole. Over 12 years, we have developed within the framework of a balanced and thus predictable natural environment. Much indicates that this condition is now over and that the consequences will grow in magnitude and strength in the years to come.

Although Carl I. Hagen pretends to be anything else, the climate debate has long since shifted from the question of the reality of climate change to more practical questions about what risks we face – as well as how and with what measures we can implement a green shift. documentary The Age of Consequences wedges into this field, and gives voice to actors other than those we usually meet. Reports from and interviews with people in the US military form an important backdrop for the story being rolled out.

Global unrest. We've been to New Orleans. Syria is a far more serious example. The political debate has focused a lot on whether it is Assad or the rebels, Russia or the United States who are responsible for everything that has gone wrong. The documentary adds an important point, namely that the country was hit by an extreme, three-year drought from the autumn of 2006. People in the countryside lost their livelihoods, whereupon 1,5 million people in a short time moved into the cities. The consequences were unemployment, homelessness and poverty. Society's mechanisms came out of balance, which created both unrest and a recruitment basis for IS. There were undoubtedly problems in the country before, but precisely because of this the drought had accelerating effects in the direction of war and the subsequent refugee crisis.

Drought and loss of water resources led to instability, war and humanitarian disasters.

A chain of events was spreading instability across increasingly large areas, and into more and more countries. The more powerful such turmoil becomes, the greater the risk of getting an authoritarian response: Instead of seeking solutions for all people, we build walls and aim for the nation to become itself enough. The interview objects i The Age of Consequences are clear that such reactions will only make matters worse.

The film also sheds light on other examples, including the acute crisis in Egypt in 2010. Here, the traces lead back to drought in Russia, which led to the country's grain production deteriorating. This had consequences in areas that depend on wheat imports. Thus, climate-induced drought in one country can cause acute bread shortages in another. In the global world, the factors are closely related, and it is often the resource-poor who suffer when things go wrong. In Egypt, the situation created social unrest, which accelerated in scale and threatened the social and state structures.

Further south on the African continent, the Sahel belt extends to Africa. In large parts of this area, the drought and loss of water resources have resulted in war, humanitarian disasters and the flow of refugees. A huge crisis for the people affected, but also for the world as a whole, the consequences can be huge. This is well illustrated by the Himalayan melting glaciers, which in 2017 provide water to one billion people. Continuing the meltdown, the battle for water will increase here as well, in an area where several of the countries losing their most important resource are nuclear powers.

New views. The examples show how life in everything from small towns to international areas is about the natural environment, which today is mostly about climate change. The distance from a well-functioning society to a collapse of civilization can prove daunting. However, habitual thinking makes it difficult to adjust the course: Our lives are so rooted in fossil resource use that even very strong danger signals do not cause us to change course.

We've heard the warnings before – but when they come from retired officers and others with links to the US security system, it becomes harder to shrug and just pretend nothing. Many say that their commitment is about US security: It is in the country's interest to contribute to global stability by ensuring a still stable climate. Such thoughts may trigger skepticism on the part of the mind-laden ethicist, while more pragmatically inclined will believe that the most important thing is that something is done, regardless of the motive.

Nature's stability is a necessary condition for a sustainable society to exist.

The Age of Consequences is a movie as many as possible should watch – especially those who do not want a green change if it costs us something. The film tells us that such denial of action is in itself an act – with potentially serious consequences.

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