Volume 17 Issue 1
As CRJ goes to press, we are on day six of war in Ukraine.
We do not have a crystal ball; you will be reading this weeks after it has been written, and we could be in a maelstrom of our worst-case scenarios and fears. I fervently hope that the world has somehow managed to avoid even greater global atrocity, but it is unlikely. Horror seems to be stalking ever closer, tracking the still-warm footsteps of the pandemic.
That will not, of course, mitigate the suffering happening in Ukraine right here, right now. And what of the other parts of the world also enduring war or terrorism, pandemics, famine, floods or fires?
The greatest privilege of working on this journal lies in how our readers and contributors are motivated to make the world a better place for others. Our CRJ community knows all too well the effects of conflicts and their human toll. Lives lost, intergenerational grief, battered societies, refugees and IDPs, heinous attacks on civil infrastructure and the use of banned weapons all leave deep, long-term physical and emotional scars and a burning sense of outrage.
As you read this, even if we have somehow managed to sidestep cataclysmic escalation, the tragic effects will be pervasive and long lasting.
The first casualty when war comes is truth. The endless scroll of lies, propaganda, manipulation, self-centred extremist and polarised views, greed and power plays, all of which seek to divide societies and foment distrust between people, have played – and continue to play – their part.
The darker side of human nature appears to have gained momentum. Many thought – in retrospect with complacency – that it was under control.
As Tony Jaques laments on p42, we consistently ignore red flags.
Buried among the tsunami of terrible news from Ukraine, the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report says that climate change is already affecting every corner of the world. The report warns that some impacts are already too severe for adaptation to prevent severe losses and damage, noting that we have a narrow window left for change.
The truth is, we were warned. We did not heed the approaching drumbeats of this war; will we also fail to act upon the even more dire warnings about climate?
I wish I were writing this with the benefit, relief and safety of hindsight.