An American pundit described 2022 as “the year of living dangerously”.

It was a reference to three great threats to global peace: The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, China’s aggressiveness toward Taiwan, and Israel’s distrust of Iran’s intentions.

One might add two additional dangers and threats, not to peace, but to the very future of humanity.

The first is pandemics, which we thought science had totally vanquished. COVID-19 reminded us that one mistake, one oversight, or one irresponsible action can bring global disaster.

The onslaught of the Omicron variant with an enormous number of infections demonstrates that the adventure that began two years ago will not end any time soon.

Aside from vaccination, which remains the most valuable tool for checking the pandemic, personal responsibility is still of fundamental importance.

The second existential threat, which increases uncertainty about the future, is the climate crisis, about which there has been much talk but little action.

We think we have time. We do not.

We believe that the projections of scientists are exaggerated. They are not.

We believe that public health restrictions should only be implemented by others – governments and some large countries. That is a mistake.

We ourselves must change our way of life.

Climate change and the other major issues at this time – Turkey, Greece’s security, the refugee issue, Southeastern Europe, the EU, and the US – are the issues reviewed in the year’s last issue of Ta Nea by eight prominent academics and analysts of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign policy (ELIAMEP).

Many challenges lie ahead. If at times they appear insurmountable, it is up to us to transform them into opportunities.

Happy New Year to one and all!

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