Mr. Soros, on the eve the 2023 Munich Security Conference, argues that adaptation and mitigation are necessary but not sufficient responses to climate emergencies.
Closed and open societies are fighting for global dominance at the same moment as climate change threatens our civilization.
President Xi might remain in power for the short-term, but he won’t be in office for the rest of his life. China will not be the dominant force that Xi wants.
Putin may be plotting a coup against Moldova. This could happen before the one year anniversary of the invasion.
Modi’s weakening grip on government could lead to a democratic revival in the future
George Soros, philanthropist, and financier, believes that geoengineering can be used to repair the Arctic Circle’s damaged climate system.
In a speech, Mr. Soros stated that melting Greenland’s ice sheet “poses an imminent threat to our civilization”, and that adaptation and mitigation projects are necessary but not sufficient. He argues that funding “human ingenuity” to repair “an existing stable system” is necessary before climate change reaches its tipping point.
He noted that the Arctic Circle is heating up four times faster than other parts of the globe, and this has a significant impact on the global climate system. The “albedo effect” is a phenomenon that reflects sunlight rather than absorbs it. It was once isolated and covered with pristine ice, snow and snow. Rising temperatures are melting Greenland’s ice sheet. It is now covered with soot from the West Coast of America’s last year forest fires. Icebreakers have broken it up, opening Arctic shipping lanes in the summer months. This is causing more heat by reflecting more sunlight than being absorbed.
Sir David King’s theory, which Mr. Soros supports, is that Greenland’s damage must be repaired. This would create white clouds high above earth and return large amounts of the sun’s rays to the atmosphere. This drastic step would require significant investment and consultations from the indigenous population. It could help “restabilize” the Arctic climate system which controls the global climate system. This film explains the technology in greater detail.
According to Mr. Soros, such action is essential because, according to the current trajectory, global heating will reach “more than 2.5 degrees Celsius by 2070”, which will melt the Arctic permafrost, and “increase ocean level by seven meters”, causing irreparable damage. It is not well understood that once this happens, “the amount of money required to stabilize or repair the climate system increases exponentially.”
According to Mr. Soros, the accelerating rate of climate change will lead to large-scale migration, for which the world is not prepared. He says that unless we “change how we deal with climate change”, and “reorient our international financial institutions, especially the World Bank” to do so, “our civilization is going to be severely disrupted by rising temperatures which will render large parts of the globe practically unlivable”.
While civilization is at risk of collapse due to climate change, Mr. Soros sees two types of governance that fight for global dominance: “open” or “closed” society. In open societies, “the role of the state” is to protect freedom and individual rights. Closed societies, “the role for the individual is to serve state interests.”
Open or closed societies may win the fight for global dominance, Mr. Soros believes. Repressive states have the ability to “force their subjects into service”. He believes that an open society is better than closed societies in terms of governance, and he “grieves” for those who have to live under repressive regimes like Assad’s Syria or Iran.
Concerning Ukraine, Mr. Soros points out that the US, UK, and EU all agree that winning the war in Ukraine is the only way to end it. The opposition from the Republican-led House of Representatives makes a large bi-partisan funding package by the US unlikely,” so there is only “a narrow window of opportunity” for the Ukrainian army’s to mount a “counterattack”, which could decide the fate of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Mr. Soros also noted that Moldova’s president Maia Sandu had warned Putin about a coup against Moldova. This threat, Mr. Soros warns, “could…be executed before the anniversary.” He also considers the possible success of Putin’s “desperate gambling” by turning to mercenaries from Yevgheny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group. Putin has ordered Prigozhin to win before the anniversary of Russian invasion. He is currently trying to surround Bakhmut.
Soros is convinced that the Russian army will collapse, and there will be severe consequences. He argues that the former Soviet Union countries “can’t wait” for the Russian army to be defeated in Ukraine. This is because they want to protect their independence. This would lead to the “dissolution” of Russia’s empire, which would be a huge relief for open societies and a problem for closed ones. The Russian empire “would not pose any threat to Europe or the rest of the world”.
He also sees signs of hope for India. There, he claims that Narendra Modi’s “meteoric rise” was influenced by “inciting violence towards Muslims”. He admits that it may be “naive”, but he anticipates “a democratic revival” in India. Gautam Adani (Narendra Modi’s business partner) is accused of stock manipulation. This will “significantly weaken Modi”s grip on India’s federal governments and open the way for democratic revival. Modi has not spoken out on the matter but he “will have to answer questions from foreigners and parliament”.
Turkey: Mr. Soros claims that President Erdogan mismanaged Turkey’s economy and has “turned more Autocratic at Home”, trying to imprison his most powerful opponent, the mayor, Istanbul, and prohibiting the Kurdish party, which he will face in the May elections. He will not be able break with the long-standing tradition of allowing political parties control the vote counting, making it difficult to falsify results. Citizens are upset at the slow government response and desire to have control over all aid efforts after this month’s catastrophic earthquake. According to Mr. Soros, the devastation was not destiny. He said that Turkey’s lax construction practices combined with Erdogan’s construction-driven economic model only made things worse.
Soros claims that President Lula’s victory is a major victory for democracy by shifting his focus to Brazil. He will need strong international support as he must simultaneously preserve the rainforests (without which there is “no pathway to net zero”) and promote social justice while also restoring economic growth. Lula, who managed January’s coup attempt “masterfully”, believes he “established his authority as president in a country that lies at the forefront of the conflict between closed and open societies.”
China’s President Xi Jinping has caused self-inflicted problems. He mismanaged the economy at the start of his rule and then he introduced the Zero Covid policy which imposed “enormous hardship” upon the people and put the country “on the brink of open rebellion.” Xi Jinping’s chaotic exit from the Zero Covid strategy “without putting any other in its place” caused “Armageddon” which “shook” the trust of the Chinese people in his leadership.
However, the current situation does not meet “all the preconditions” for regime change or revolution. Mr. Soros believes “we are only at beginning of a process, which will have longer-lasting repercussions and whose importance is not widely recognized.” But Mr. Soros believes that Xi won’t be in power for his entire life and that China will cease to thrive while he is there. It will not “become the dominant political and military force that Xi wants”.
Xi’s mistakes have caused a “weak situation at home” which led to him responding positively to President Biden’s Bali offer to lower the temperature between China and the US. The discovery of the Chinese surveillance satellite balloon has “soured relations” and is now on its way to poisoning all of them.
Finally, Mr. Soros looks to the United States. He believes it is struggling after Trump’s presidency significantly damaged its democracy. Soros hopes that Trump, a “confidence trickter whose narcissism became a disease”, will fight it out with Ron DeSantis for the Republican nomination in 2024. He believes Trump will lose the election and that he will run as a third party presidential candidate. This would lead to a Democratic landslide, and “force the Republican Party to reform itself.”
Mr. Soros says he may be biased on this question because we all are both observers and participants, which means that we have a limited understanding of the world. Mr. Soros notes that participants want to “change the world in their favor”, while observers want to “understand reality as it is”: “These two objectives conflict with each other.”
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