- World Food Program & FAO estimate that 19m Afghans = 44% of Ukraine’s population are facing “Acute Food Insecurity”: AFI
- AFI is the diplomatic & glossy term for famine – a tragedy that is expanding from Somalia to DRC, to Ethiopia and beyond
- Cairo is banging on IMF’s door for support to deal with rising food prices & many in Africa & Levant will soon join the queue
- Given Ukraine & Russia’s weight in global F2 (food +fertilizers) production World Food Program may soon rebrand to World Famine Program
- Nitrogen based fertilizers, potash and many Must Have products for farming are all dependent on Natural Gas
- Despite record production of bullshit by politicians, theirs can’t act as fertilizer or actual manure to help agricultural yields & food security
- EU’s public finances frail & fatigued & under record inflation rates will soon test Christine Lagarde’s monetary synchronized swimming skills
- We’ve moved from a Bipolar World: Cold War—>Unipolar World: Forever Wars—>Multipolar World: Hybrid Wars in 2022
- The Forever Wars have very little to show, yet created massive long-term systemic risks for climate, environment & economic destitution
- A prolonged Hybrid War in Ukraine will be a Poverty Multiplier, an Arab Spring Accelerator & a Harbinger for a New World Disorder
- In current global circus of incompetence & drought of wisdom, the real rare earth/elements are world leaders that can broker peace
- Meanwhile the 5C redline for Climate Catastrophe has been breached, bastardized & bedecked in “Green ESG Gown” at various COPs
- Climate Change multiplies the risks to “Strategic Bases/Assets” of all actors from civil, military & supply chains/logistics on all global shorelines
- Real estate’s old adage: “Location, Location, Location” will soon be “Elevation, Elevation, Elevation” – Let’s hope leadership will elevate too!
Staying Sober, Sound & Sensible
Q1: Being in summer talking about freezing temperatures sounds like an oxymoron. Yet November is only 16 weeks away. Isn’t it then moronic to prolong this war? What’s the end game strategy? What will be the impact on Europe, parts of West Asia & Africa?
Q2: What’s Plan B if EU cannot replace Russian gas in the next 6 months? What’ll be the effect on EU’s stability? Will UK shut down gas to mainland Europe if “Beasts from The East” arrive together? (i.e. Russia curtails the gas in midst of a major cold winter)
Q3: What’s the rationale of increasing the war’s temperature with no clear strategy in sight? Remember E.U’s messy vaccine rollout –can EU fairly distribute tight energy supplies to all members in a cold winter?
Hiring Harry Houdini to Unchain The Locks
Q1: Central banks in western hemisphere are in a bind – a catch-22 as a result of QE overdose, infrastructure osteoporosis, a productivity atrophy, growth strokes and inflation seizures shocking the entire body of the economies. Can patients be stabilized?
Q2: Inflation is flirting around 11% in U.K & on fire in E.U; can the West act as a “Good Samaritan” in conflagrating food crisis? Will Official Development Assistance targets be honored? If not, how will that accelerate the inflow of refugees to the continent?
Q3: Where are the policies for dealing with inflation rates of 15-17% in a war of attrition? Do Govs. have an MRI of real pain points and thresholds of voters, living cost & union/worker strikes at home? Will we slumber into poverty, protest & political unrest in late 2022?
Pimp My Ride: It Ain’t Working? Lubricate It!
Q3: With 14 countries in E.U & most of the Istans/CIS all land-locked, the energy flows are in a quandary. The Central Asians can’t get it out, Europeans can’t get it in! Lubrication required? Hola Venezuela! After crippling sanctions you can sell oil because we need you!
Q2: Key question: who measures the tragic humanitarian cost & toll of sanctions on 6m Venezuelan refugees? How long can politics of convenience and on demand Sanctions by Global North & Suffering of Global South continue? Should fighting inflation in EU receive a kiss of life (oil) from Venezuela? It was only in 2019 that US urged EU to recognize Juan Guiado as El Presidente!
Q3: There is not enough gas and yet plenty of “Hot Air” in today’s geopolitics. Can hot air alone keep us warm during winters ahead?
The Half Forgotten Dreams of Net-Zero
Q1: The war in Ukraine is another reminder of the fact that aggressions & wars of choice are the biggest elephants in the Net Zero room. Isn’t Net Zero only a dream unless we measure, price & tax Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions of wars of choice?
Q2: This latest crisis has been a rude awakening to our “techno-fragility” & a timely reminder of our “resource-dependability” & why mother earth matters. What are the long-term implications of soil erosion/contamination on global food supplies, due to recent wars?
Q3: The new investments/upticks in defense budgets over the past 3 months have eclipsed all existing commitments to Net Zero goals. The challenge is when Mother Nature wages a war; no military or budget can stand the test. Are we then not myopic in winning the battle & losing that war with nature, by adding many more new megatons of emissions and prolonging this war?
As Rumi says: “Beyond right & wrong there is a place and I shall meet you there.”
Can anyone show us the way?
Ali Borhani is the Managing Director of 3Sixty Strategic Advisors Ltd. It is the readers’ responsibility to verify their own facts. The views and opinions expressed in this article/commentary are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other individual, agency, organization, employer or company.