South Africa: Future Foretold - SA's Corporate Heavyweights and the Zero-Sum Game of Climate Collapse


Based in the UK, the Carbon Disclosure Project collates the environmental and climate change concerns of over 6,000 international corporations. By accessing the submissions of 16 major South African conglomerates across the sectors of food retail, mining, financial services and healthcare (among others), Our Burning Planet stumbled into an incredibly grim near-future landscape -- one where current business models would struggle to co-exist with food, water and basic services for the majority. What we need, it seems, is a Hail Mary much larger than the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

I. Bellwether

First, some context.

In May 2019, the United States military acknowledged the possibility that it might not survive the next 20 years. A report, prepared by the US Army War College and Nasa, had advised the Pentagon to prepare for "mission failure" -- that is, the loss of the capacity to contain threats at home and abroad. According to the report's authors (mostly active colonels), a combination of diminishing global water supplies, collapsing energy grids, runaway civil conflicts, mass migrations, unrecoverable crop failures, as-yet-unknown disease vectors and rising oceans would render the US military useless as a "peacekeeping force" unless it stared climate collapse square in the face.


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