It has already been six years since the world was supposed to end in 2012, yet the more we look at current events, the more we start wondering whether we are in fact headed towards a less apocalyptical end, but nonetheless, a very horrifying one.
With the world becoming a playing field for social injustices, political unrest, violence, cyber-attacks on infrastructure, terrorism in all its forms, epidemics – and more recently, even the uncertainties brought by the overwhelming presence of new technologies, an upcoming Armageddon might look nothing like what fiction horror stories have accustomed us with.
All these changes have significantly impacted the business environment in the United States and all around the globe, becoming harder and harder to make predictions, work with stable metrics, and staying one step ahead of legal, political, social or financial changes. If things keep going in the same direction, these 6 horrifying stories of our upcoming Armageddon might become a norm in our day-to-day lives, no matter where we live or the sector in which we conduct our businesses.
With a war of influence going on for years between the United States and Russia, new developments have shed light on the situation of electrical grid hacking. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a statement revealing that the Russian government had its hackers gain far deeper access to hundreds of electrical utility companies than previously stated by federal officials. We are talking about a power grid upon which most of the modern society is being constructed, therefore, making sure that it stays safe from both internal and external harm has always proven to be a challenge. Back in 2015, Russia did the same thing with Ukraine, by shutting down the power in its capital, midwinter. But in 2018, the power grid of the United States is even more vulnerable than Ukraine’s was in 2015, with more and more external companies being involved in its development, upgrading, and maintenance, which puts this cyber-attack on infrastructure amongst one of the most horrifying things to happen towards an upcoming Armageddon, as its repercussions are not even quantifiable in the present.
Crime, unequal distribution of wealth, and poverty remain the three biggest social injustices in the United States in 2018, yet the level with which they are escalating is becoming more and more worrisome by the minute. With more than 18 million Americans living in poverty, places such as Lowndes County, Alabama have become the cover story a place taken over by deficiencies in all sectors. From its raw sewage problems exposing residents to poverty diseases long exterminated in the United States such as hookworm, to unreliable electricity services or a troubling lack of government assistance, this part of the U.S. and the way things are rapidly progressing there towards devastating outcomes are bringing the Armageddon scenario closer and closer to home.
Earlier this month, The United Nations released a horrifying climate change report in which it is stated we have less than 12 years to cut the risk of extreme heat, draught, and poverty. World leading climate change scientists have put their efforts and research together into drafting what seems to be a narrative describing a future that is precipitously becoming reality.
“It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now.” (Debra Roberts, co-chair of the working group on impacts)
Yet with the U.S. withdrawing from the Paris agreement in June of last year, and politicians all over the world engaging in controversial speeches against the reality of climate change, there is no telling what measures can be taken at this point, if any. We are currently talking of major changes caused by just half a degree, according to data gathered from the 6,000 works referenced in the UN report, which will be presented in Poland at the end of this year, at the annual UN climate conference.
Political unrest is on everyone’s mind when it comes to the current situation in the United States. With controversies starting from the Oval Office such as the President withdrawing the country from the nuclear arms treaty with Russia, to the Supreme Court, the presence of troops in places such as Afghanistan, or the upcoming midterm elections and the uncertainty surrounding them, there is no telling what will happen next. Therefore, citizens all over the United States, but also people from other continents find themselves in worrying anticipation. This has translated in problems for all environments, from health departments to the corporate world. Having so many and such unpredictable political changes has made businesses weary of how to conduct their activities, especially in times of crisis and when the country is in such a perilous position.
It’s not just the political world that has been thrown into a crisis, but also the health care system worldwide. Poverty alongside a lack of education has unfortunately made it possible for diseases which were long eradicated to come back, as people either don’t have the minimal conditions for preventing sickness, or have become too weary of medical assistance such as vaccines. Cholera is thriving across the world, more than 2,000 years from when it was first mentioned, killing up to 143,000 people annually in regions impacted by conflict and poverty. And with so many new regions in the United States succumbing to poverty, conflict, and social injustices, we can no long affirm that these kind of diseases will stay clear of us, with the problem going as back as 2014.
As we keep on discussing the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis, there are also a lot of indicators that the year 2020 might bring a new recession for which no world government is clearly prepared. Economic professors and academics are trying to draw our attention toward what might become a new world financial crisis, but this time with higher overall debt levels and with more chaotic policy tools in our service. Based on these and a set of other indicators, there are concerns that this crisis might be more severe and more prolonged than the one in 2008.
With a new financial crisis falling more and more in the hands of policy makers and governments from all over the world, all businesses can do is assure that their activities are performed without interruptions, and in compliance with industry rules and regulations, but also based on strategies emerged from goals, objectives, and client needs.
An upcoming Armageddon might no longer be a thing of fiction, and while it means different things for people and businesses located in different parts of the world, the outcomes will be very much similar in their disastrous nature. Therefore, taking steps in the opposite direction from a crisis is always a good choice, but also knowing how to handle it in case preventive measures have failed, such as implementing good crisis communication strategies.
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