Coronavirus Shows We Are Not at All Prepared for the Security threat of climate change

the introduction of new limitations on trade and movement of peoples. This mismanagement has led to each nation going on its own, despite the fact that working together would net greater gains for all. As the New York Times’s Mark Landler put it, the voices of world leaders are forming “less a choir than a cacophony”, leading to mixed global messages, undetected spread, and ongoing fights over limited resources.

In the face of climate change, such a lack of coordination could be highly destabilizing to world social and economic order. The mass displacement of people, the devaluation of assets, rising seas and natural disasters will call for shared practices and common decency in the face of continued tragedy. Many climate impacts will raise new questions the world has yet to answer. What do we do with nation-states that can no longer reside in their homeland? How do we compensate sectors for ceasing harmful practices such as fossil fuel extraction and deforestation, especially where national economies may depend on them?

We also face new global governance questions around the use of risky geoengineering technologies, which can be deployed unilaterally to alter local climates, but with the potential for vast unintended regional or even global consequences. These are challenges which, like climate change itself, can only be solved collectively through coordinated policies and clear communication. The sort of wayward responses and lack of leadership in response to COVID-19 would only lead to further destruction of livelihoods and order in the decades to come.

Authoritarian Agendas
This historic moment is also offering new opportunities for leaders to further dangerous, illiberal agendas. Authoritarians have long used emergency situations as a pretext to further curtail individual rights and consolidate personal power against backdrops of real or imagined public danger. We’ve seen these actions spiral worldwide in the past month in autocracies and backsliding democracies, alike.

President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines has given security services the directive to open fire on protestors while Vladimir Putin is deploying mass surveillance technologies and new criminal penalties to monitor the Russian population. Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán has forced new emergency powers through parliament that muzzle political opposition and allow for his indefinite rule. Even the supposed democratic bastions of the US and the UK are seeing worrying signs of autocratic policies, as surveillance drones are deployed to monitor citizens, scientific expertise is undermined, and open-ended emergency powers are granted to police forces for undetermined