While cyberwars may continue to take center stage in the global polycrisis, the climate crisis holds pole position, arguably only threatened in its existential threat dominance by negative prognostications of the future impact of artificial intelligence. For now, the climate crisis continues to maifest in a very future now, real world manner – with recent quantifiable impacts of record and promising innovation strategies, some technological. Details here.
The Future of the Climate Crisis: Recent Impacts and Promising Innovation Strategies
Responding to the Climate Crisis: The Worst Case Scenario is Not the Least Probable: This report provides an overview of some major climate crisis related events worth tracking as an indicator of what may be the new reality in this age of polycrisis. We do not provide solutions but do mention mental frameworks important for leaders to master in finding solutions.
Texas’ Bitcoin Miners, and European Farmers: Loosely tethered to our previous update – While Texas Declared a Grid Emergency, EU Fossil Generation is at Record Low – two more climate crisis related developments are worth tracking as an indicator of what may be the new reality in this age of polycrisis. We do not provide solutions but do mention mental frameworks important for leaders to master in finding solutions.
While Texas Declared a Grid Emergency, EU Fossil Generation is at Record Low: Two climate crisis related developments are worth tracking as an indicator of what may be the new reality in this age of polycrisis. We do not provide solutions but do mention mental frameworks important for leaders to master in finding solutions.
Macron’s Recent Paris Summit Remarks Read Like a Charter Statement for the Ministry of the Future: French President Macron’s recent statements – as he hosted the Paris Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, which he organized – read like a formative charter statement for the creation of the United Nations-based Ministry of the Future (MotF) – the fictional organization at the center of eponymously-titled speculative fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson.
Another Daunting Dispatch from the Ministry of the Future: ConocoPhillips’ Project Willow Will Freeze Melting Artic: The story you tell customers, employees, vendors, and strategic partners about the future (and your organization’s place in it) is a sturdy, structural response to the severity of this current age of uncertainty. We, humans, hold on to stories for dear life. Foresight narratives give your business ecosystem something to hold on to, build on, and make real. We are comfortable with the oft-quoted axiom that “the future”, per science fiction writer William Gibson, “is already here. It is just not unevenly distributed”. Signals that validate a future trend or fledgling new system should be central to your organization’s foresight strategy efforts. We like to think that OODA Loop is helpful in these efforts. When we track signals from the future as a function of our research and editorial voice, we base our efforts on the conclusion (based on years of collective experience) that not all the signals will be positive or intrinsically techno-utopian, embedded with the blind faith that technology is exclusively a source of only good, promising things. We have experienced too many unintended consequences to keep beating that Silicon Vally branding drum one beat longer. Even with this stoic stance, the signal from the future featured in this post, at least for this writer, is a definitive data point about the accelerated onslaught of the climate crisis. More so than any of the information contained in the most recent report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the arrival of this signal in 2023 is staggering.
The Water Wars in France Eerily Resemble Scenes from The Ministry of the Future: Like a lost chapter from Kim Stanley Robinson’s now seminal near-future science fiction masterpiece, The Ministry of the Future, reporting from Info France 2, Collectif Bassines Non-Merci, Le Huffington Post, Midi Libre, France24, The New York Times, and Le Monde details the recent clashes in the French western region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine (and other parts of the country) to water scarcity brought on by drought conditions in France. At issue: the future of water management and government policy and projects guided by the French government’s deployment of a controversial “mega-basin” strategy.
“The Worst-Case Scenario is the Least Probable” and Other Cognitive Biases: Global Drought, Catastrophic Monsoons and Floods and “Zombie Ice”; It is part of our job to position negative metrics and trends as part of our overall sensemaking on behalf of the membership. And we consider even our own aversion to bad news part of our research discipline as well, and we have mechanisms to break through it and achieve something resembling a stoic, balanced stance on most information we are handling at any given time. OODA Network Member Dr. Lisa Porter describes” a risk-based approach that recognizes I am always making a tradeoff. And to do it with my eyes open.” We think that captures what we are trying to provide here on a daily basis. We also use scenario planning to tell the story of the future as we are seeing it – to influence risk strategies and decision-making processes for our member organizations. So, with that: Are you sitting down? Because I have some bad news, along with a mental model through which to analyze its implications.
Promising Innovation Strategies
The Future Will be Built with “Clean Steel”: The decarbonization of heavy industry figures prominently into the “all of the above” solutions which will need to be deployed to combat the climate crisis. “Clean steel” is showing real promise. Details here.
NASA and High-Performance Computing Reveal Climate Impacts on Global Crops in the Next Ten Years: In the current issue of the journal Nature Food, NASA scientists published a study exploring the climate impacts on global agriculture scenarios. According to the high greenhouse gas emissions scenario from the report, by 2030 climate change may have a quantifiable impact on the production of maize (corn) and wheat. The NASA scientists highlight in the study that these projections and subsequent scenarios are based on a new generation of climate and crop models “with maize crop yields…projected to decline 24%, while wheat could potentially see growth of about 17% through 2070. Soybean and rice projections showed a decline in some regions but at the global scale the different models still disagree on the overall impacts [on these crops] from climate change.”
Humanitarian Intelligence and Early Warning for Protecting Climate Migrants: Climate change and the insecurity it stimulates have the potential to amplify existing conflicts, trigger conflicts over scarce resources, and trigger forced migration (refugees and internally displaced persons or IDPs) now and in the future. Climate conflicts converge with transnational criminal activity (cartels and gangs) and exacerbate violence against persons in fragile communities. These convergences have reduced the availability of areas that are safe for displaced persons, increased resource stresses (including deforestation and water stress), displaced additional populations, and made it harder for migrants to seek refuge in countries like the United States or nations in Europe (both the European Union and the United Kingdom).
Supply Chain Resiliency Critical to Exponential Quantum Computing Innovation and Climate Change Response: The severe threats and existential risks faced by the U.S. have caused some to call for mobilization efforts equivalent to the WWII war effort and the Manhattan Project. The high technology industry calls such “at scale” efforts “Moonshots,” based on President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 clarion call to land a man on the moon.
OODA Loop Special Reports
US Drought Requires Use Of Best Practices in Scenario Planning: This is the second in our series of special reports on mitigating the risks and improving corporate strategic planning regarding the drought in the US. The first is the OODA Special Report: How Drought In The US Should Impact Your Mid To Long Range Strategic Planning. This report expands on the mid to long term scenario planning methodology and provides more insights into best practices in scenario planning as a strategic practice and pointers on how to get started ‘building’ your scenario.
How Drought In The US Should Impact Your Mid To Long Range Strategic Planning: Much of the Western US is now officially in a drought. This post provides information business and government leaders should know about this including insights into how drought impacts key sectors of the economy. It also provides four scenarios that can be used for organizational strategic planning. It concludes with recommendations for business and government leader consideration.
Additional OODA Loop Resources
The Global Polycrisis
Cyber War: Power, Prestige, International Governance, and Strategy in the Age of Global Polycrisis: Competing cyber capabilities (on a spectrum from nation-state to non-state actors alike) and cyber-based conflict will continue to restructructure, reformulate, discombobulate, and transform the very essence of what power, prestige, international governance, and geopolitical strategy are in the 21st century. Fueled by the Global Polycrisis, Cyberwars will continue to take center stage. Further jagged transitions, strategies, binaries fractures, major developments, and crucial events in the ongoing cyberwars are compiled here.
Globalization Transformed and the Global Computer Chip IT Supply Chain Disruption: Further jagged transitions, strategies, binaries fractures, major developments, and crucial events are compiled here as globalization is transformed and The Global Computer Chip IT Supply Chain Disruption continues astride as functions of the Global Polycrisis.
Geopolitical Futures: The Americas, The Northern Frontier of Mexico, The Arctic, and Africa: In this era of global polycrisis, leaders are also reacting to the major macro economic trend of the last thirty years – the fundamental driver of the tetonic shifts in geopolitics and deep inside the economies of nation-states – which is that the BRICs global share of GDP May Overtake the G7 by 2028. Further geopolitical players and regions of the global polycrisis (jagged transitions, strategies, binaries fractures, major developments, and crucial events) summarized here include: The Americas, The Northern Frontier of Mexico, The Arctic, and Africa .
The Global Polycrisis: The Middle East, China, The Indo-Pacific, Russia, Ukraine, and NATO: Polycrisis: A cluster of interdependent global risks create a compounding effect, such that their overall impact exceeds the sum of their individual parts. The geopolitical players and regions of the global polycrisis (jagged transitiosn, strategies, binaries fractures, major developments, and crucial events) summarized here include: The Middle East, China and the Indo-Pacific, and Russia, Ukraine, and NATO.
Great power competition introduces new corporate risks, from supply chain disruptions to cyber threats. This competition extends to resources like food, water, and rare-earth elements, with heightened risks surrounding global computer chip supply.
Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia’s aggression against Ukraine prompts global repercussions on supply chains and cybersecurity. This act highlights potential threats from nations like China and could shift defense postures, especially in countries like Japan. See: Russia Threat Brief
Economic Weakness in China: China’s economy faces dim prospects exacerbated by disasters, COVID-19, and geopolitical tensions. Amid limited financial transparency, some indicators suggest China’s economic growth is severely stunted, impacting global economic stability. See: China Threat Brief
Networked Extremism: The digital era enables extremists worldwide to collaborate, share strategies, and self-radicalize. Meanwhile, advanced technologies empower criminals, making corruption and crime interwoven challenges for global societies. See: Converging Insurgency, Crime and Corruption
Food Security and Inflation: Food security is emerging as a major geopolitical concern, with droughts and geopolitical tensions exacerbating the issue. Inflation, directly linked to food security, is spurring political unrest in several countries. See: Food Security
Demographic Time Bomb: Industrialized nations face demographic challenges, with a growing elderly population outnumbering the working-age demographic. Countries like Japan and China are at the forefront, feeling the economic and social ramifications of an aging society. See: Global Risks and Geopolitical Sensemaking