While several western countries where remembering the Armistice of the First World War, the war continued elsewhere. The war against one another, people against people, atrocities against atrocities. The war as well against climate change and the changing climate that provokes its own wars. The war that overnight affected over 3.6 million people in Central America while nobody was watching.
The minute of silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month must remember us of all the victims of war. The soldiers at the frontline, the families of those who never returned, or who returned not the same. The towns hit by warfare, destroying dreams and realities with every destroyed building. Identities morphed away from what once was, and what never will be again.
While the silence echoes through the empty room, the sound of war finally got silenced in Azerbaijan. A peace agreement has been signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. It ends 6 weeks of fighting; however it recalls the years of fighting before, and the remained tensions. Even this peace agreement might not reinstall peace in the region.
At the same time trade wars keep on arising after the war on COVID increased and underlined geopolitical tensions. Medical aid that was send with geopolitical strings attached, political backs that were turned, doors that were closed and others that were opened. The world after COVID won’t be the same again. Not only health-wise. Pandora’s box has been opened over the last few months, and it will depend on humanity, as in ‘human’ behaviour, to close it again.
There was the electoral war in the US, which you cannot call an electoral campaign at all. More significant that the inglorious battle between both presidential candidates, was the polarity within the country. No states clocked off with a significant victory of one of both candidates. It was all around half-half. The United States of America might have never been as divided. The mayor mission of new elected president Joe Biden will be to get his country back on one line, so they can cope together with the challenges of tomorrow, rather than imploding and sliding off in unnecessary battles. He must unite the divided States of America again.
Silenced War of 3.6 Million People
While all this turmoil was happening around the globe, the most forgotten battle was the one the Central Americans were delivering. Not against an alien invader, not against the troops of the enemy. Yet many lives were lost at an eye blink, and many more are struggling to survive.
Hurricane Eta was originally destined to make landfall in Florida, but the storm seemed to weaken and so was the media attention. But the reality was different. The storm made landfall in Central America where it was the strongest tropical storm, they had experienced in 22 years.
Over several days Eta got stuck above Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras. The tremendous rainfall caused mortal flooding and landslides. It took too many lives with them, while too many people are still missing. In total about 3.6 million people in the region are affected by the storm.
3.6 million people who lost their lives, their houses, their family members or friends. 3.6 million people who already were hit by poverty, even before the global Pandemic. 3.6 million people who lack the economic means to rebuild their region. 3.6 million people who watched their horrible future straight in the eye.
Climate change will turn Central America into a dead zone. Squeezed between the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean, Central America will become one of the zones hit the most by climate change. From hurricanes and flooding, to drought and heath waves. It will become uninhabitable.
Climate change hasn’t even been caused by them. We are all accountable for the fate of Central America, and we all have to take up our responsibility by calling a halt to climate change.
The Main Security Threat
Rather than direct conflict, this is the main security threat we face in our era of history. Globally, armies are preparing themselves for the fight against climate change. The fight not only abroad to assist other countries coping with natural disasters, starvation due to crop failures, and drought. But as well the fights within.
Too many zones on earth will become uninhabitable. Too many places people call home, are already at the frontline of today’s changed climate, and will be at the frontline of tomorrow’s change climate.
The conflicts won’t arise solely in a future far away, they already are happening. Such as the Syria conflict that had been worsened by climate change. The conflicts won’t arise solely in countries far away, they already are happening right where you live. Such as the Australian and Californian bush fires, forcing people to migrate within, such as flooding, crop failures, drought, and as in Central America today hurricanes.
We don’t have to go to war against the climate, we don’t have to pick up the weapons and fight against nature’s elements, nor against one another. For that will be a battle we will never win.
Our only choice is to stop climate change from happening. Our only choice is to act human. To pick our battles, and fight only those who are worth fighting.
Therefore, this year, my minute of silence didn’t only bring me back to my ancestors during the First World War. I scanned the world on the conflicts I know are playing right here, right now. My beloved ones in Central America, fighting for their survival, while the world watches two old white Americans fighting an unnecessary battle.