Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently: A disease that kills 80/90% of all people on earth could and will tip us to an unrecoverable social and technological crash

Is the world at war with the coronavirus? Last month, Xi Jinping called the Chinese suppression effort a “people’s war”; in the past week, Donald Trump labeled himself a “wartime president,” while Emmanuel Macron declared that France is “at war” with COVID-19. As the global response to the pandemic gathers steam, the rhetoric of wartime mobilization is everywhere. In Italy, the worst-affected country in Europe, the government’s anti-virus czar has called for the country to “equip itself with a war economy” to confront the disease.

During the 2008 global financial crisis, policymakers became fond of using warlike language to describe their stabilization efforts, invoking “big bazookas” and “shock and awe.” But the total nature of the global response to the coronavirus makes the metaphor of wartime economics even more relevant today. Governments currently have to manage a public health emergency at the same time as central banks act to calm financial markets, armed forces are deployed to build hospitals, and citizens’ movements are restricted by social distancing.

But in what ways is the war economy a useful way to understand the fight against the coronavirus? The idea has been invoked to mean a variety of things: productivity, sacrifice, reform, solidarity, and resourcefulness. In some of these areas, war isn’t an appropriate way to think about the global pandemic. In other respects, however, it’s time for Western governments to go beyond merely using wartime rhetoric. The history of 20th-century war economies offers important lessons that policymakers should already be drawing on today.

A disease that kills 80/90% of all people on earth could and will tip us to an unrecoverable social and technological crash.

But real disasters aren’t lone events born of simple, soluble problems, and they don’t end when the credits roll. Nor are they necessarily a question of scale.

The line that divides an incident from a disaster is defined by a society’s preparedness and capacity to deal with the aftermath.

For good or ill, the technology and unprecedented control over life and death we have will likely allow future disasters to unfold along lines unique in world history.

Do we who are in the know care?

Other than verbal diarrhoea it seems not so.

So here a few disasters to look forward too.

Genetic Manipulation Gone Wrong.

Our genetic ambitions will outpace our safeguards.

Put simply, we can now wipe out entire species with a single mistake. Bioethical standards tend to lag behind technology, and who can say what a less ethical party might attempt?

Coronal Mass Ejection or bursts of plasma and magnetic field from the sun’s corona.

They follow a cycle, like pandemics albeit a far more regular one (the conditions are ripe every 11 years or so) [source: NASA]. They also cause variable but potentially ruinous damage, and their destructive scales depend, in part, upon humans’ connectedness.

We’ve been lucky so far.

Such an event could last a few weeks. But a quick about-face would prove impossible if, as some people fear, the CME’s ground current cooks all the transformers. In that case, the risks of social breakdown and mass starvation become quite real.

Peak Phosphorus.

There’s a theoretical limit to how many people the planet can support? It’s mainly limited by available solar radiation, but there are other limits we would reach well before that one.

Our bodies need phosphorus to move energy around and to build cells and DNA. But our demand will likely outstrip our known supply within 30 to 40 years. Currently, a large amount of phosphorus is lost in human and animal waste. Much of what remains end’s up in the trash or washes away as farm runoff.

The push for biofuel options will only deepen the crisis. Everything has its limit — even the bounty of the earth.

The Thermohaline Circulation Shuts Down.

The melting poles.

As the resultant freshwater spreads across the North Atlantic Ocean, it shuts down a looping global current vital to global climate called the thermohaline circulation (THC).

But push past that point, and forcing factors, or environmental processes that affect climate, take over. This could create feedbacks that will alter climates for decades or centuries to come.

Whether such a shutdown will occur because of climate change remains unclear, but the bulk of data says the THC will more likely experience a slowdown. In the unlikely worst case, however, the effects of a mini-ice age combined with other climate change stresses could be nothing short of seismic.

The Cascadia Superquake.

An earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or greater.

In 2011 the 9.0-magnitude Tohoku quake and resultant tsunami killed 18,000 people, triggered the Fukushima meltdown and caused more than $200 billion in damages. All this happened in a region prepared for quakes, just not ones of such scale.

A Killer Asteroid.

Take Apophis, an apartment-building-size asteroid due to kiss our atmosphere in 2029 and possibly smack right into us on its 2036 return trip.  If it does it will pack the wallop of a 300-megaton atom bomb, to say nothing of the ensuing fires, disruption of solar energy and famine.

Global Economic Collapse.

Economists still struggle to unravel collapses that already occurred.

This one might already be happing as we watch the out brake of CORONAVIRUS        in China spread it seems likely that problems will only worsen under global climate change scenarios or energy-asset depletion.

All we can really say, as we watch China prop up its ailing stock market and the European Union struggle to define a set of economic policies suited to the diverse needs of its member states, is that indicators look more than a little dodgy..

The Singularity.

This is my favourite the steely grip of self-improving superintelligence born of human hubris. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

On one hand, it’s hard to imagine we’d be so foolish as to create a Frankenstein’s monster without a fail-safe. But do you know what’s not hard to imagine? That some garage hackers or industrialists, driven by rivalry, revenue or (Asimov help us) fetish, will sit nose-to-breadboard until they’ve created artificial intelligence or some weird imitation of it

Even ignoring the risk that superintelligent machines will rise, self-improve and decide a femtosecond later to eliminate humans, we’ll still face one of the most transformative moments in social and psychological history. Because however, it shakes out, it’ll be something we’re not prepared for, and that alone will make it a disaster.

World War III.

The reasons are deeply enmeshed: Food and water insecurity, climate change, financial crises, infectious diseases and profound social instability.

Add rising nationalism, weaponising technology, Donal Dump, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, South Sudan, the international order that has been thrown into turmoil. Multilateralism and its constraints are under siege, challenged by more transactional, zero-sum politics.

A paralysed United Nations who’s collective accountability, including the International Criminal Court, are ignored and disparaged.

Dubious territorial claims by major powers like China and Russia, Japanese militarization and a pinch of terrorist pseudo-states, and a fearsome picture begins to emerge.

President Donald Trump’s contempt for traditional allies and Europe’s struggles with Brexit and nativism, leaders across the world are probing and prodding to see how far they can go.

Socially or ecologically, there is growing concern among experts that change today occurs at a rate that far outstrips our ability to cope with it.

The international order as we know it is unravelling, with no clear sense of what will come in its wake. The danger may well lie less in the ultimate destination than in the process of getting there.

Moreover, in a world characterized by ever-growing connectedness, it’s unlikely that some types of disasters — economic, political, ecological and epidemiological — will remain geographically confined.

The same globalization and mass communication that transform the world may just as easily doom it if we’re not careful, and perhaps even if we are.

Anyone will ensure that nobody will remember the Internet.

Surviving The Next Great Depression – No announcements will be made, no warnings will be given by the establishment, it will just suddenly happen out of the blue and everyone will say it was unpredictable. But those who prepared will know better.

Numerous economists and investors are warning of another great financial crisis to come but few people want to listen to them. No crisis is ever exactly like the last one and the next great depression will be different from the last one. In the last depression those who had money were in a good financial position to ride it out but the next depression will see those with fiat money drowning in it as it becomes worthless.

Very few Americans have any significant savings today. Most live on credit and those with savings have it stored in financial instruments that will be wiped out as the bankers collapse the system to hide the theft they have been involved in for decades. Those who think they will retire with their IRA, pensions or social security will suddenly find them all gone never to return leaving them with no means to care for themselves.

The west line has moved to Asia. This means that North America is no longer the shipping center of the world. The consequences of this for Americans will be disastrous. This means our economy in the future will be smaller and slower and will result in a standard of living far below what it currently is.

Those that own very few assets free and clear will become the new homeless as they become jobless and default on all of their credit obligations. All of the social safety nets that exist now to keep people fat and happy will fail leaving mobs of people to roam the streets to seek out what they need to survive. One only has to look at Venezuela today to see where this will all lead.

The basic minimum wage in Venezuela today is $7 dollars a month. Not a day or a week but a month. Those that hold local currency see it devalue on a daily basis making things increasingly worse as time goes on. Had any of these people stored some of their wealth in gold they would have the ability to live a little easier as the economy collapses. One ounce of gold in the hands of a Venezuelan today would last them for years. This is a lesson we all need to heed.

Simply storing some of your wealth in gold and silver is no cure all but it is part of a bigger strategy to insure you do not have to suffer as many will in the coming years due to their blind faith in their belief the government will care for them. Keep in mind that the government is actually controlled by the same people that will destroy your standard of living so why would they care about your suffering.

Understanding what will likely happen and insuring you have a plan to deal with it is the only hope you will have of coming through the coming bad years in tact. Those who trust in government or only live for today will reap what they sow and it will be unpleasant at best if they survive at all. A simple strategy to insure you do not suffer does not have to be expensive or complicated. The best plans are simple and allow you to adapt to the changing times. If you invest in a simple, inexpensive plan and the world somehow goes on as normal, you will not be any worse for the investment but if things takes an unexpected turn and your plan becomes necessary, it will allow you to survive the crisis much better than the bulk of the population.

The strategy I outlined in The American Dream Lost is a basic plan that will work for just about anyone but is mainly designed for those that have only a few thousand dollars to draw on in an emergency. That is to say it is designed for the majority of Americans that have little money. It is important to understand that a plan of this type is an insurance policy against bad times that can do great harm to you and your family and needs to be understood in that light.

One of the worst problems people have is that when something bad begins to happen they attempt to continue living as they always have and ignore the future consequences until it is too late to do anything meaningful about it. If a person loses their job they continue to live as they always have using up their small savings in the hope that things will change for the better before they run out of money. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, it depends on how lucky they are. This type of mentality often leads people to the point where they run out of money and only then do they try to come up with a plan. The problem is, by then they have no resources left to enact a plan with. This is what you need to avoid.

When your economic situation suddenly changes for the worse you need to immediately sit down and determine what the future is likely to look like. It is good to be optimistic but if the chances of finding a new job are not very good you need to decide how best to use what resources you have to maintain a decent living standard. You may have to make some very difficult choices but the option of doing nothing could be very harmful in the long run. For those that decide radical steps may be needed to continue caring for their family the following list is a good place to start.

Buy a years supply of basic foods and supplies that store easily
Buy some durable clothing for future use
Buy an older vehicle for cash that can pull a trailer
Buy a good used camper trailer for cash that can house your family
Buy a weapon and ammo for protection and hunting purposes
Buy a few rolls of silver coins to preserve wealth and act as an emergency fund

What this gives you is the ability to continue caring for your family even in the worst of situations if everything is lost to creditors. They will have food, shelter, clothing, transportation, security and the ability to buy critical items that are needed at some future time. Convincing your family they have to move to a camper for a while would not be easy but the alternative of being homeless would make it an easy choice. The fact that thousands of people all across America are at this very moment living in tents near large population centers is proof enough it can happen.

Depending on your shopping skills all of these things can be secured for under $5,000 dollars and much less if you have time to look for bargains. Your plan may be slightly different depending on the resources and skills you have. You may have access to a small piece of land you own somewhere that a cabin can be built on or you may have the skills to retrofit a van body truck or enclosed trailer for living in. In situations like this skills are worth as much as gold coins.

When the next great depression hits it will be unlike anything we have lived through before. Nothing will be as it seems and only those that have the resources to adapt will come through it whole. Preparation is the key to adapting to future events and those without resources will reap a bitter harvest as they struggle to survive. No announcements will be made, no warnings will be given by the establishment, it will just suddenly happen out of the blue and everyone will say it was unpredictable. But those who prepared will know better.