Ralph Thurm’s candid thoughts on the WEF’s “Global Risk Report”
Here’s an excerpt from a note by Ralph Thurm:
Last week’s Sunday Thought on ‘How risky is the WEF Global Risk Report – wrong perceptions, wrong timelines and wrong priorities’ had a stunning resonance with tens of thousands of views, around 280 likes and about 50 shares. In the meanwhile, as we all know of our polycrisis, in which all is connected, we realize that a set of wicked problems in themselves, are now culminating into a ‘wicked conundrum’ altogether. This got me to the point that I think collapse ‘avoidance’ is a waste of time, given how far we are ‘over the cliff’ and where all I see is the desperate looking out for the biggest parachutes while we fall. I only wished those parachutes would be given to those that really help to make the fall as smooth as possible for all. But that’s not what’s happening.
For me, the WEF Global Risk Report is the first corporate dissonance check of the year, as well as a perception level check. Its presentation gives hints where the biggest gap lies: the differentiation between short-term risk and long-term risk is deeply flawed! It shows most environmental category risks to be on top of the long-term risk list, while they are the reason for many (if not all, if you drill deeper) short-term risks. And as you now saw, the Davos agenda this year was then consequently dominated by AI and wars, not so much about climate, biodiversity and resource disasters.
What should be different from a collapse-acknowledging perspective? I think what’s really necessary as a clustering is the ‘remaining timeline for necessary action.’ And for most environmental risks it is NOW, or better yesterday. But as the past is the past, NOW is all we have. But no, we continue to give in to the illusion of second order urgencies, as ‘first things first’, and that’s always something else than the long-term (environmental) risks.
Another reason is that these short-term risks are ‘weaponized’ by some for their favour in our hyper-competitive world, as Steve Faktor points out. The WEF Global Risk Report is a manifestation of the Collapsology playbook 1:1. It causes delay of tackling root causality, pampers our continued illusion of separation, and describes interdependencies, but real root causality is blurred. The report is an outpouring of ‘anthroposupremacy’ instead of ‘ecolibertarianism’ (terms coined by Jem Bendell in ‘Breaking Together’) … as the whole WEF is! Summing up, long-term risk clustering is nothing but a continued externalization booster, and we all know what that means in a closed system. Exactly, it means collapse!