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Thursday
Nov112010

On change

The 2010 JOE (Joint Ops Executive) Report is an interesting read, framing the difficulty of planning for security at a global level. This one quote is telling:

The Fragility of History – and the Future...
The patterns and course of the past appear relatively straightforward and obvious to those living in the present, but only because some paths were not taken or the events that might have happened, did not. Nothing makes this clearer than the fates of three individuals in the first thirty plus years of the twentieth century. Adolf Hitler enlisted in the 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment (the “List” Regiment) in early August 1914; two months later he and 35,000 ill-trained recruits were thrown against the veteran soldiers of
the British Expeditionary Force. In one day of fighting the List Regiment lost one third of its men. When the Battle of Langemark was over, the Germans had suffered approximately 80% casualties. Hitler was unscratched. Seventeen years later, when Winston Churchill was visiting New York, he stepped off the curb without looking in the right direction and was seriously injured. Two years later in February 1933, Franklin Roosevelt was the target of an assassination attempt, but the bullet aimed for him hit and killed the mayor of Chicago. Can any one doubt that, had any one of these three individuals been killed, the history of the twentieth century would have followed a fundamentally different course?

The Fragility of Energy

To meet even the conservative growth rates posited in the economics section, global energy production would need to rise by 1.3% per year. By the 2030s, demand is estimated to be nearly 50% greater than today. To meet that demand, even assuming more effective conservation measures, the world would need to add roughly the equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s current energy production every seven years.

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