The US National Intelligence Council (NIC) has issued a new report, "Global Trends 2030: Potential Worlds," that emphasizes the rise of China and the risk of catastrophic climate change. An Associated Press summary Dec. 10 says the report finds global terrorism will recede along with the US military footprint in Iraq and Afghanistan, but cyber-attacks will be a growing concern. "The spectacular rise of Asian economies is dramatically altering…US influence," said NIC chairman Christopher Kojm. While the report sees the potential for US-China cooperation on global security, it also warns of resource struggles leading to instability. Under the heading "Stalled Engines," in the "most plausible worst-case scenario, the risks of interstate conflict increase," the report said. "The US draws inward and globalization stalls." The section "Black Swans" foresees extraordinary events that can change the course of history—such as a severe pandemic that could kill millions in a matter of months, or more rapid climate change. The report is optimistic, however, on the prospects for US energy independence. "With shale gas, the US will have sufficient natural gas to meet domestic needs and generate potential global exports for decades to come," it predicts.
The reference to shale gas of course means fracking—and portraying it as the key to energy independence merely echoes industry propaganda. Is predicting both global climate disaster and continued reliance on fossil fuels cynical or realistic? The growing US conflict with China also concerns a struggle for control of oil, especially in Africa. The conflating of (corporate) globalization with world stability is also becoming standard Pentagon doctrine.
The findings echo some of those released by the Director of National Intelligence earlier this year, which especially foresaw global conflict over control of water. In 2008, the NIC issued a classified study finding that climate change will be a major threat to US security over the coming generation. Pentagon studies in recent years have reached simialr findings.