125. Investing in preparation for future events

One argument I have been hearing of late which seems sensible at first sight is that it is not possible for societies to prepare well for something that we don’t know is going to happen. It has been used, to good effect, to defend the fact that we were fairly (not completely) unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic. The argument sounds sensible, but it does not stand careful analysis. Firstly, we did know something like this was going to happen, and the same is true of the next global problems, climate change, antibiotic resistance, the diabetes pandemic and growing inequality. We know they are coming, we should be preparing much better. Secondly, the same politicians and leaderships who use the argument as an excuse disprove it daily with their security and military investment. Countries spend annual fortunes in military capability and exercises, to prepare for the uncertain eventuality of conflict. But the wars that really matter will be fought against the challenges listed above

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