The future sucks, according to a report released by the National Intelligence Council on Monday. Imagine the US in decline, living under the constant threat of cyber and biological attacks, and food and water shortages in some areas. That’s 2030, according to the director of national intelligence’s office.
The 160-page report paints an arguably bleak picture of the future, though the council cautioned that their scenario isn’t what will happen, but merely what could happen if we don’t make good economic and military choices, reports Yahoo. “We do not seek to predict the future—which would be an impossible feat—but instead provide a framework for thinking about possible futures and their implications,” the report cautioned.
Hopefully, it freaks out our elected officials on Capitol Hill enough that they start working together.
Other freaky ideas floated by the report: Global population will reach “somewhere close to 8.3 billion people,” and food and water may be hard to find in Africa and the Middle East.
“Climate change will worsen the outlook for the availability of these critical resources,” the report said. “Climate change analysis suggests that the severity of existing weather patterns will intensify, with wet areas getting wetter, and dry and arid areas becoming more so. 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.”
As for the US, we’ll “most likely will remain ‘first among equals’ among the other great powers.” But “with the rapid rise of other countries, the ‘unipolar moment’ is over and Pax Americana—the era of American ascendancy in international politics that began in 1945—is fast winding down.”
The report also suggests that Islamist extremism may die down at that point, but that small cells of people that just want to wreak havoc on the world will take their place. They’ll be harder to find, harder to predict, and will likely be more dangerous and harder to fight.
“With more widespread access to lethal and disruptive technologies, individuals who are experts in such niche areas as cyber systems might sell their services to the highest bidder, including terrorists who would focus less on causing mass casualties and more on creating widespread economic and financial disruptions,” said the report.
A strange part of the report underlined by Wired predicts the emergence of superhumans as well.
You can read the entire report, titled “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” here. What do you think of the grim outlook?