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Author Topic: National Intelligence Council - Global Trends 2030  (Read 4027 times)

JimD

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National Intelligence Council - Global Trends 2030
« on: May 28, 2013, 05:48:02 PM »
Available for download at the below link is the latest installment of the once every 4 year report by the US National Intelligence Council on Global Trends and their implications for the US and the World.   These reports are not predictions, but rather assessments of possibilities.

As indicated by the NIC,

"Global Trends 2030” has been the largest collaborative effort of all the editions relying on a diversity of perspectives to enrich the work. The NIC held many meetings with government officials, businesses, universities and think tanks and reached out to experts in 20 countries.",

a large range of input was sought for this report.  One can also be certain that all the various US intelligence agencies were participants in generating this report and, while it is unclassified itself, all of their classified opinions were taken into account in its drafting. 

Note that such reports are NOT objective and are subject to substantial political and, to a somewhat lessor extent, ideological influence.  They are US centric to a fault at times as well.  But the important thing to keep in mind when reading them is that they ARE very important and are used to argue for and justify various federal agencies budgets and do indicate the general direction that the attention of the State, Defense and Intelligence Communities will be focused upon.

A close reading of this document (some 160 pages -yes I have read it) will provide a lot of insight into trying to figure out why many  government policies seem to be out of step with what seems to be the general conclusion of folks who populate blogs like ASI and are just baffled by US policies and actions.  This report provides a good snapshot of the mindset of those just behind the policy makers.  I disagree with a lot of what is found in this document, but, having spent a full career in the US Intelligence community, I can state it gives a relevant perspective on what upper policy people are hearing and basing some of their positions upon.  Many will find it sobering reading.

http://www.dni.gov/index.php/about/organization/national-intelligence-council-global-trends

http://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/96-press-releases-2012/780-odni-releases-global-trends-projections 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

TerryM

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Re: National Intelligence Council - Global Trends 2030
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 10:11:42 PM »
I've only read the talking points so far and I'm going to have to take a break. I can only ingest so much BS at one time without melt down. What I've read indicates BAU - on steroids - A 50 %global INCREASE in energy consumption over the next 15-20 yrs push's things far beyond Hanson's gloomiest predictions.


If government leaders give this as much weight as you say they do, we can expect far more aggressive "Burn Baby Burn", Drill Baby Drill & Frack Baby Frack policies. After all it's to save the world.


Scariest thing I've read in a long time.


Terry

ivica

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Re: National Intelligence Council - Global Trends 2030
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2013, 03:22:27 PM »
I took fast read only, have no desire for something else, maybe later.
Quote
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      Anything that, in happening, causes something else to
           happen, causes something else to happen.

    Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again,
                       happens again.

    It doesn't necessarily do it in chronological order, though.
Douglas Adams, "Mostly Harmless" - well, Mostly Harmless for those lucky to be far away enough from them.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: National Intelligence Council - Global Trends 2030
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2013, 03:56:55 PM »
.....................What I've read indicates BAU - on steroids - A 50 %global INCREASE in energy consumption over the next 15-20 yrs push's things far beyond Hanson's gloomiest predictions................................................

Terry


I don't care how deeply we wallow in the tar sands or how much water we waste fracking, fossil fuels are a finite resource soon to be exhausted.  There is no feasible way that the world can increase energy consumption by 50% if it is to be fueled by fossils. Having followed the Peak Oil discussions on The Oil Drum for several years, I don't see the sense in expending dollars and energy trying to recover low EREOI sources of fossil fuels.  Forgetting for a moment that the CO2 emissions are destroying the earth's biosphere, it makes no economic sense to spend 20-30% of our energy trying to produce the remaining fossil fuel reserves.

The above quote certainly makes the case for rapid development and implementation of renewables.  Of course those of us in the more developed economies might consider energy conservation.........oh perish the thought of not having my Hummer at the ranch property and my Power Boat at the lake property and my Escalades (plural!!) for family use at home!!
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

Vergent

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Re: National Intelligence Council - Global Trends 2030
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2013, 06:16:42 PM »
Quote
MegaTrend 4: Growing food, water, and energy nexus

...
We are not necessarily headed into a world of scarcities, but policymakers and their private sector partners will need to be proactive to avoid such a future.

Clearly, with big energy and big agra as "partrners" our "policymakers" are corrupt. It is plain that the writers embrace this status quo as normal and proper. BAU is the only product of such an arrangement. 800ppm, here we come.

Vergent

JimD

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Re: National Intelligence Council - Global Trends 2030
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2013, 06:49:46 PM »
Terry,

ATTEMPTS at continuing BAU are clearly supported by this report.  But, as OLN indicated, Peak Oil is real and the dynamics of limited resources will eventually override foolish policies.  Climate Change is not going to take any prisoners.

I did not post the report with a desire to inflame passions regarding the likelihood of the US pursuing a BAU approach.  I think most, at least subconsciously, know that BAU will dominate US policy for quite a number of years yet.  What I am trying to show is how integrated industry, defense, government and politics actually is.  Here is an organization which the public, as little as they even know of its existence, would assume is providing the policy makers with clear reasoned objective analysis (after all that is part of their mission statement).  This is most definitely NOT the case however and, at least in my experience, never has been case.  At the individual level there are a host of experts in the Intelligence Community who know and understand the situation.  That, in and of itself, does not mean in any way that those opinions are going to float up to the level where they will be allowed to stand in opposition to the accepted direction of flow and strategic intent of current government policy.

I know it is hard reading, but I do urge folks to at least skim the entire report as it really brings home the extent of change required before the US decides that a BAU approach is failing and serious change occurs.

Many posters in blogs such as this one struggle mightily when they attempt to understand why US government policy seems so divorced from the needs of reality.  This report provides a window into the thinking that is helping drive that policy.  I think it fair to say that that sea change in thinking needed is a LONG Way off still.  Years.  A decade?  Maybe 2030?

 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Bob Wallace

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Re: National Intelligence Council - Global Trends 2030
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2013, 08:18:00 PM »
If the world is going to increase its energy consumption by 50%/whatever over the 20 years/whenever, why would one simply assume that energy would be generated with fossil fuels when renewables are cheaper?


TerryM

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Re: National Intelligence Council - Global Trends 2030
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2013, 07:25:08 PM »
After noting that in 7 out of the last 8 years the world consumed more food than it produced, and that by 2030 we'll be using 40% more freshwater than is sustainable they forecast a 1% increase in oil production annually (as well as huge increases in natural gas).


I don't think these are reasonable, but I do think the report will be used to justify every drill baby drill scheme imaginable. Their "super fracking" scenario can't be ignored.


Still haven't been able to force myself to read the whole thing, but starting on page 30 things get interesting.


Terry




Bob Wallace

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Re: National Intelligence Council - Global Trends 2030
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 09:32:10 PM »
Quote
in 7 out of the last 8 years the world consumed more food than it produced

Isn't that the case that we ate into reserves in those 7 years?

The US throws away/wastes 40% of all the food it produces.  Africa loses 50% of its production to problems of storage and shipping.