The drums of war are beating beyond Russia and the Ukraine. The two great wars of the last century were not going to last long or involve practically all of Europe and the world. The omens were wrong. Every time armies cross borders, unknown scenarios are entered.

Vladimir Putin has unleashed an earthquake that is moving the fragile board of global balances. Finland will ask to join NATO and Sweden may do so soon. The historical neutrality of these two countries disappears and Russia will be increasingly flanked by Atlanticist troops commanded by the United States. It is the continuation of the cold war, but with armies ready to go into battle if Putin penetrates allied territory.

We are in war. The Ukrainians are the first victims and their country bleeds to death in a melee against Russian soldiers with whom they have historical ties of blood, political coexistence and shared civilization.

We are at a point where Putin is sadly unlikely to back down and the West will stop protecting Ukraine militarily. The war rush seems unstoppable and the consequences in everyone’s lives begin to be noticed. When Josep Borrell spoke of lowering the thermostat one degree, he had all kinds of criticism. On Wednesday it was Josu Jon Imaz, CEO of Repsol, who warned that the war in Ukraine will leave Europe without gas next winter. Inflation is out of control, energy costs have skyrocketed and food is much more expensive. Austerity and effort will be imposed by the force of the facts.

I remember an old hiking friend who had typed up a short manual called Introduction to Hard Life. Among his recommendations was the river bread menu, that is, dry bread, soaked in water. The text was naturally metaphorical. We won’t get that far. But if the war continues over time and with greater intensity, its effects will be devastating and we will yearn for the society of abundance that we have given ourselves as an acquired right.

We are about to reach the situation where we will not worry about the causes and responsibilities of the war, but about how we are going to survive its effects.