Friday, November 21, 2008

SPECIAL POTATOE UPDATE: We're all gonna die!!!

A new report released by the intelligence community and summarized here (and in full here) predicts the state of the world in 2025. And let's just say that things don't sound good...

"The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons," said the report by the National Intelligence Council.

Okay, so fights over food, water and the threat of nuclear terrorism, especially, the report predictably claims, in the Middle East. Sounds like the new (crappy) Bond movie, only without any hot chicks. The report also says that not only is global warming real, but that the smart investor would start putting their money in dollars as a result... CANADIAN dollars, that is...

The report, a year in the making, said that global warming will aggravate the scarcity of water, food and energy resources. Citing a British study, it said that climate change could force up to 200 million people to migrate to more temperate zones. "Widening gaps in birth rates and wealth-to-poverty ratios, and the impact of climate change, could further exacerbate tensions," it said. The report says the warming earth will extend Russia and Canada's growing season and ease their access to northern oil fields, strengthening their economies.

The bottom line of the report was that for those of us who have grown up in a world where the United States was the ultimate power in the universe, there are a few new Death Stars on the rise:

Although the United States is likely to remain the single most powerful actor, the United States' relative strength -- even in the military realm -- will decline and US leverage will become more strained.

Predictably, countries like India, China and Russia were forecast to start making like the Tampa Bay Rays - the butt of jokes no longer, and younger, faster and more dynamic than those old stalwarts, the bellwether Yanks. (see how it has two meanings!) Bottom line: all things remaining the same and equal, America is slip-sliding from its untouchable perch. And the intelligence community just confirmed it in writing.

Is there any good news? Well, actually, yes - there is:

The intelligence community expects that terrorism would survive until 2025, but in slightly different form, suggesting that Al Qaeda's "terrorist wave" might be breaking up. "Al Qaeda's inability to attract broad-based support might cause it to decay sooner than people think," it said. ...[Also o]n a positive note it added that an alternative to oil might be in place by 2025.

The alternative to oil, apparently, will be the energy generated by the mushroom clouds all over the Middle East, but you've got to look at the bright side.

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