Pandemics and other risks

This is an interesting article analyzing the many economic risks of a pandemic.  I liked the line which says “Wall Street never encountered a disaster it couldn’t profit from, and pandemics are no exception.”

This article may be an understatement of the risks and it is not clear that even Wall Street could survive.  I say this remembering a book I read some time ago: Why the West Rules – For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris.

Anonymous_U_shaped_arrow_set_5Morris’s book is a good summary history of the world. Using evidence from a number of disciplines he shows how geography has influenced the rise and decline of civilizations.

He identifies what he calls the five horsemen of the apocalypse – famine, epidemic, uncontrolled migration, state failure and climate change and shows how these have combined to produce disastrous, centuries-long collapses and dark ages.

II would like to go into denial and  believe that our civilization is exempt from any of these threats.  However, any one of them, or all of them at once, could become problems for us.  There are also some new threats such as nuclear war, energy resource depletion or an electromagnetic pulse which has the potential to wipe out large chunks of the power grid.

I wish I knew how we could protect ourselves but sometimes there is no answer.  There’s a song:  The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

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