A Third World Debt Strike may be able to jump-start the World Economy before it’s all over for good.

Could this be Humanity’s only chance?

George Tsakraklides


Either way, the world economy will collapse

This is not up for debate but a very simple consequence of supply and demand vs. resource. The planet’s resources will at some point begin to shut down, and our very home will become increasingly inhospitable while we consume and have more children. There’s only one direction this can go: south.

But managing to shut down the oil and coal industry, switching to renewables and dramatically reducing CO2 emissions will not happen. This would require replacing Trump, Bolsonaro, Boris, Putin and other Crazies with sensible leaders, and managing to have a UN summit where the focus is not the croissants on the table but essentially killing the coal and oil industry and agreeing to massively hurt powerful banks that are financing the dirty carbon economy.

Guess what Sherlock: ain’t gonna happen. Not today, not tomorrow, not even three years from now..

When Daddy Says “No”

But there is one person that can stop us: Rachel’s Dad.

In case you have not seen this episode from the old series Friends, Rachel keeps using her daddy’s credit card, when everyone is telling her she needs to grow up, get a job, and cut down on shopping. That credit card is running out of funds.

Let me help you with this metaphor: Our Daddy is the Planet. We are Rachel.

And it is the Planet who takes the final decision, and cancels the credit card. If you ask all the scientists, our Planet has already made a decision. It is beginning to fight us back, to shut down our food production systems as a little first taster of what is to come, before it gets too hot to even live.

So do we just wait for Death?

Photo by UX Gun on Unsplash

No. Because a climate-induced economic collapse would most surely be accompanied with even worse Far Right movements, a World War over food and water, and a world economy so weakened that it will not be able to switch to green and sustainable models. There won’t be models. There won’t be food. There will barely be any humans. Prolonging inaction as a “wait and see” approach would be even more devastating for the Planet and therefore for anything living on it (this includes humans). Basically we cannot wait until the climate catches up with us. We’ll be even more fucked.

Is there an alternative? Maybe..

Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

Imagine this: a small group of Third World nations around the equator, who have the most to lose from Climate Change, threaten to stop repaying their national debt. Their rationale? This was a problem made in the West, with Western First World emissions. Now they can’t grow any crops at temperatures of 45 degrees, and their people are dying in the streets from “wet bulb” temperatures. Fair game.

At the same time, coordinated citizen action across the world moves in to support these countries, with limited, but still effective debt revolt that is enough to scare the living daylights of the big banks.

A win-win scenario emerges: If the G7/G20/whoever the rich countries are ignore the threat, the world economy collapses as money becomes worthless. Emissions drop dramatically, the fossil fuel industry collapses, and of course no one finances it back to health. A post-apocalyptic plan is put together for a Green Economy while we still have time to save the world.

If on the other hand the rich countries give in to the threat, a less ideal but still galvanising effect could emerge: the rich countries could be forced to dish out the majority of the funding to fix the world, while saving millions of humans by taking in Third World refugees.

In both scenarios the world could come together in some way, without having to go through war first.

You can follow me on Twitter @99blackbaloons

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George Tsakraklides

Author, biologist, exploring our broken kinship with the planet. INFJ born 88 ppm ago. 📚 The Unhappiness Machine. A New Earth. Lexicon of Dystopia.