The threats looming on the geopolitical horizon are easy to spot, but it’s quite possible that global leaders will find a way not to prepare for them, analyst and author Ian Bremmer writes in this illuminating overview. One of the threats he warns about – global contagion – has already happened, while the others, climate change and disruptive technology, have done enough damage to alert the world to their severity. Bremmer’s sobering book is primarily a plea to world leaders to move past divisive partisanship and petty bickering, and to work together against common enemies.
The world faces three looming crises – pandemic, climate change and disruptive technology.
The first threat on the horizon is another pandemic. Political leaders from across the spectrum have been sounding the alarm for years. In 2005, President George W. Bush warned of the possibility that a pandemic would strain supplies of hospital beds, respirators and masks. In 2014, President Barack Obama and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates separately called for investment in vaccine development and public health preparedness. However, the Trump administration ignored such warnings until the coronavirus erupted in China in late 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the tragic cost of not preparing, but it also provided heartening examples of cooperation – both of which offer useful lessons for the inevitable next pandemic.
A second threat is climate change. Similar to a pandemic, a climate crisis will affect humans regardless of geographic boundaries or ideological affiliations. Climate change will create chaos by intensifying inequality and by demanding massive investments from governments. The third threat is from disruptive technology. This category ...
Ian Bremmer is president and founder of Eurasia Group, a global research and consulting firm, and GZERO Media, a company that covers international affairs. He is author of 11 books, including Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism.