Gwynne Dyer For Dummies
A watered down synopsis of author Gwynne Dyer’s lecture on pressing global issues
Logan Peters, Contributor
“I’m back,” says Gwynne Dyer as he takes to the Wyckham House stage at Mount Royal University on March 9. The bustling Wyckham House audience listens intently as Dyer begins his humour-laced dissection of issues that scare most of us to death.
Dyer is an author, historian and independent journalist who has written over five books about terrorism, ISIS and climate change, among other issues. Dyer’s talk consisted of four main topics AKA the “whoops” that he feels would be catastrophically bad for the world if they did indeed happen.
The first “whoops” he talks about is the unlikely potential for a new Cold War. He explains that Russia no longer has the military needed to participate in such a war. The conflicts between Ukraine and Russia have been all over the news in recent years but Dyer says we shouldn’t worry about that too much either.
Terrorism earned the second spot on Dyer’s “whoops” list but he says that the threat of terrorism looks way bigger than it actually is.
There is a high level of fear about terrorism after the 2015 Paris attacks and the lingering effects of 9/11, but Dyer called 9/11 “an enormously well produced show” because the reaction by the United States was exactly what the extremists needed in order to fulfill their agenda.
Climate change is another “whoops” that Dyer brought to the table. Everyone would freak out if the sky began spitting fire and raining chunks. However, the sky is not likely to erupt in such a way. If it did, our government would have to find a solution for environmental destruction immediately.
But this is not the case and the issue of climate change is not being dealt with as urgently. Bird migration and Calgary’s early spring are just a few of the subtle ways we see climate change today.
The last and perhaps most serious of all the “whoops” Dyer talked about was a military confrontation between China and the West. Dyer said that China wants to be more powerful than the United States yet evidence is emerging that despite outward appearances, China’s high-speed growth may be on the decline.
According to Dyer, China has been investing in infrastructure like freeways and apartment towers that no one lives in, possibly to create the illusion of prosperity and essentially wasting their money.
If the Chinese economy is doing poorly, their government may look for an alternative solution to their citizens unrest through a military confrontation with the United States.
One way to avoid violence if this happens is to remain calm. If China does attack the United States it would be wise for the U.S. not to invade and dismiss it altogether.
Gwynne Dyer’s thought-provoking, alternative theories and ideas never fail to illicit interest, curiosity and some level of shock from listeners. We’re looking forward to his next talk at MRU.