Putin’s real legacy will be uncontrolled nuclear proliferation

A new heaven and earth -part 2 :The world we left behind

The world which was snatched from us on 24th February 2002 was not perfect. Our astute readers will be aware of many of its imperfections Yet this Lost World was actually trying to solve some of them and might have done so, but for Vladimir Putin.

Climate change was the obvious one.[1] COP 26 for all its faults marked a genuine momentum towards net zero emissions. Now the urgent need for energy, any energy has all but vitiated climate reform for many years. If your home is drowned by rising waters, blame Vladimir Putin. The same is true with this blog’s own little obsession with antibiotics. The urgent needs of war and refugees will destroy attempts at rational prescription, and much research capacity will be diverted to military ends. If your child dies of an antibiotic resistant disease, blame Vladimir Putin. We could say much the same about his destruction of the global market, which was doing so much to lift billions out of poverty.

Yet his real legacy will be far more terrible. Older readers will recall how Ukraine gave up its Soviet era nuclear weapons in1994. A real gesture to peace and trust. Now it has been invaded by a nuclear level power. We doubt that would have happened if Ukraine had kept its nukes. The message to nations large and small is: get nukes! And if you have them, keep ’em at all costs! The risks of nuclear wars is now infinitely enhanced. And if you die in one, perhaps from the explosion, the burns, or cancer, you will know who to blame.

[1] This Financial Times article is via Nature Briefings

On top of the human suffering and death that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing, it will complicate global cooperation on climate change and the transition to greener energy. The conflict could make some European countries in Europe more reliant on coal in the short term, as they work to break their dependence on Russian gas and oil. The good news is: Europe is increasing its investment in clean energy. “Many of the strategies to lower dependency on Russia are the same as the policy measures you want to take to lower emissions,” says energy-politics researcher Thijs Van de Graaf. “They say, never waste a good crisis.”Financial Times | 10 min read

#russia #ukraine #vladimir putin #zelensky #ukraine war #nuclear proliferation #weapons of mass destruction

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