2015: A year of butterflies and earthquakes

From today’s viewpoint, 2015 looks like a year of global connectedness (t least in the world of business and finance … ie work), and not all of it of the heart-warming kind.

Most of us have heard how a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world can cause an earthquake in another. The year 2015 was one when that felt like a reality. Various big, rolling stories seem to run and run, with the effects reverberating around the globe, often magnifying far from the centre. Think of far-reaching effects of China’s growth engines cooling, such as the commodity price meltdown and mining sector rout.

Another example is speculation around the ‘Fed liftoff’ and the eventual decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for the first time in so any years. The actual event, which finally happened this month (December), passed with little fanfare but then, most analysts said, it was very widely expected and the markets had already factored it in.

 The elephant in the room when one talks about inter-connectedness, of course, is climate change, a story that many eco-warriors will tell you is the crucible of all the other stories. The year 2015 will possibly go down as the year that achievable deals were made to force business to engage with climate change policy. There was a lot of heat and light around the goings-on at Cop21, the international climate summit in Paris in early December. Enormous delegations travelled thousands of (gas-guzzling) miles to get there and take part in late night compromises and last-minute deal-making. All this, we are told, is in the interest of producing less heat and light around the world.

Eco-warrior or not, one just has to look back at the year to see how our destinies as humans all over the world look more and more connected.

Siobhan Cassidy

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