This whole article by Patrick Wintour, Diplomatic Editor of The Guardian, seems parochial and premature. How does state competence against Covid-19 translate into leadership of the New World Order? The implications of a much weakened or non-existent EU and an irrelevant, hermetic US are hard to fathom. On a national level, state incompetence will be punished; successors to governments that have failed their citizens in this crisis will in the future have to be more attentive to the needs of the masses and to the risks they face. Yet stronger states carry the risk of adopting electronic surveillance, and I fear many will follow China’s model. Will people tolerate that degree of control? Most will but some won’t. The resisters in some countries will be repressed, in others the rebels will mount insurrections, most of which will fail, but a few will succeed. Those few will be the vanguard for a movement for a new weltanshauung, a world view that sees the world as a whole, not as a pastiche of close to 200 separate competing entities.
It is that vision which must prevail if the world is to confront its next great crisis — the climate. If the world and all its inhabitants are to survive, we must all stop spewing carbon into the air. No country is immune, no country exempt. None can cordon themselves off from their neighbors; the atmosphere has no boundaries. Recalcitrants and renegades must be sanctioned. Those who would hasten the apocalypse must be stopped, not permitted to advance the date of our collective demise. The country that persists in ignoring the common threat of not just human extinction but the end of all life on the planet must be treated as a pariah and treated accordingly.
The coronavirus pandemic is global in scope, but each nation is confronting the challenges it presents individually, alone. Regional groupings such as the EU have played at best a minor role, and may not survive the crisis. The one supranational entity that encompasses all nations has been of scant note, fettered by bureaucracy and hobbled by a weak remit. If the world is to confront the climate crisis successfully, it must strengthen the UN, establishing a management structure that can act powerfully and expeditiously when necessary, and it’s members must give the UN a mandate to preserve the viability of the Earth as a habitat for humans and all life. Such a reimagined, remade, and newly capacitated UN will be needed to confound the climate crisis. In that existential fight, our only chance is collective united engagement. All for one and one for all. If our species and life on the planet is to win the coming fight, we must start preparing now.