The greatest danger to the US, China and Russia is not each other; it is crises enabled by failures to collaborate with each other to counter threats from third sources. Climate crises, economic crises, and security crises from third sources (for example accidental nuclear exchanges between Pakistan and India, North and South Korea/Japan, Israel and Iran, and others) are the big three threats to the survival of our grandchildren.
These crisis risks are increasingly interrelated. Economic crises increase risks of war and climate crises. Nuclear war threatens bigger climate risks than carbon. Climate crises threaten war, economic crises and crisis-responsive loops of populist authoritarianism.
The best way to prevent tomorrow’s crises of all three kinds is to prevent today’s crises of all three kinds. And the best way to do that is to start with great power collaboration on renewables R & D, the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and caution over beggar-thy-neighbour economics that can threaten the next global recession. Conditions for that preventive collaboration are not propitious.
10 points are advanced on how global civil society might respond.
John Braithwaite is a RegNet Founder and a scholar of peacebuilding, and economic and environmental regulation.