How to Kill 50 Million Africans in a Decade (Just for Starters)
It’s all in the numbers. In these End Times anyone who does not give you the numbers is bullshitting you. These are the numbers. In 2020 global average temperatures were 1.3C over pre industrial times (NASA figures). In the next decade they will rise at least .3C. From 2000 to 2010 they rose by .2C, from 2010 to 2020 by .3C. The maths: 1.3+.3= 1.6. The Paris agreement will be toast within 5 to 10 years as we shoot past 1.5C. We then have to add on the now confirmed locked in elements. These are the carbon lag, global dimming, and a blue ocean event in the Arctic. These are the numbers. The carbon lag is the time delay between putting carbon into the air and it creating higher temperatures: this can take anything from 5 to 20 years. So let’s settle on .2C. Global dimming refers to the reduction in the power of the sun’s rays due to fossil fuel pollution. Get rid of fossil fuels and the pollution is removed, raising temperatures between .2C and 1C. So let’s go for .5C. Lastly, the Arctic ice will be totally melted in summer at some point between 2030 and 2035, raising temperatures by .2C. Regardless then of reductions in emissions, these add-on “debts” will lead us to 1.6+.2+.5+.2 = 2.5C by the late 2030’s. And that’s before you factor in the Amazon die-back, methane release, ocean acidification, and the death of the coral reefs.
The upshot is that by the late 2030s, if not before, periods of extreme heat will make it impossible to grow food reliably over half the Earth’s land mass. The number here is 1 billion migrants at 2C and 2 billion at 3C. This is where the analysis usually stops. But the social science can take over. At 2.5C we are looking at 1.5 billion refugees. Around 500 million are likely to come from Africa. In the Syrian Civil War there were around 5 million refugees and 500,000 people killed (10%). So in Africa we are looking at 50 million deaths from war (10% of 500 million). Then let’s move onto rape. In the Congo civil wars of the 2000s 5 million people were killed and there were approximately 2 million rapes. So we are looking at 20 million rapes (40% of 50 million).
You can mess about with these figures. They have a degree of uncertainty. Which means they could be a lot worse. For instance, they ignore the “compounding effect” of a decade of war, starvation and rape. A historical comparison is the area between Berlin and Moscow in the 1930s and 1940s when large areas were invaded by the Soviets, then the Nazis, and then by the Soviets again. Each episode was accompanied by mass killings (around 10 to 15 million). Two million rapes happened when the Soviets invaded Germany in 1945. This destroyed all social structures which led to even greater deaths, local people turning on each other repeatedly. We can expect this on a continental scale when 500 million Africans are on the move as social collapse rages all around them.
Of course this is “just for starters”. It is inevitable that the global economy will collapse at this level of disruption. Covid has killed 2-3 million, climate breakdown will kill hundreds of millions as we enter the next few decades. And this will inevitably lead to the collapse of the criminal political classes responsible for this catastrophe.
Social science predicts there is a limit to the degree a political regime can create change within a short time frame. The Paris Agreement calls for a 50% reduction in global emissions by 2030 to have a 50% chance of staying under 1.5C. At present countries with declared plans will reduce emissions by 2%. Any realistic analysis will predict that no reformist regime can reduce emissions by half in ten years. Plans that are produced will largely involve “false accounting” which push emissions out of a country’s borders, or involve “offsetting” which largely means planting trees which will not significantly soak up CO2 for twenty years, by which time the damage will be done (and many of the trees will die due to extreme weather events). In so much as existing neo-liberal regimes enact meaningful top down reforms, the financial cost will be pushed onto the working poor and lower middle class through added taxation. This will only provoke popularist uprisings as we saw in 2018 in France.
There is only one progressive way out of this situation and that is a radical democratic revolution which removes the regime from power through a combination of winning power in elections and mass civil resistance. This is the strategy of Burning Pink, and is supported by the opinion of forward looking observers around the world. Anything less than this is virtue signalling and posturing, the complicity of reformist elites in mass murder.
The “Old Regime” has no chance of surviving the coming decade. Its collapse will come “out of nowhere”. It will be fast and furious. The choice then will be between fascistic state takeovers (a taste of which we saw in Washington DC), or a radical democratic revolution which institutes legally binding citizens’ assemblies. Only such assemblies can provide the popular legitimacy to halve consumption levels, expropriate the assets stolen by the rich, and undertake unprecedented state investment in renewable energy and geo engineering.
The killing of 50 million Africans is what the global “Old Regime” has already locked in through its refusal to cut emissions over the past two decades. Its administrators, the politicians and diplomats, will tell you this is “structural”, by which they mean it’s “Manifest Destiny” – the “Destiny” which justified the colonial destruction of peoples and cultures around the world over the past 500 years. Except this time round the brutal criminality of this regime will lead to its own destruction. It is up to us to determine whether what comes next is a better political arrangement, or something very much worse.
In the next 10 years, revolutionaries will decide our future. And that future will last for the next ten thousand generations.
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