Critique: Global Trends 2030 Report

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David Kerrigon

Jul 4, 2015, 6:07:24 PM7/4/15
Did anyone review/comment on this when it came out in 2012?


Critique: Global Trends 2030 Report
By U.S. National Intelligence Council (prisoners of a failed paradigm)
A very thorough starting point for thinking about the near future; however, futurecasts speak more about the underlying perspectives of those who produce them, rather than being accurate. In this case, the forecast comes from the US intelligence community, with flawed assumptions:
  • Fracking-based U.S. energy independence is terrific.
  • Kevin Anderson’s (Tyndall Center) climate analysis that global public policy is locked into catastrophic 4C temperature rise (that then induces a tipping point leading to 6C) does not exist. (See:, “Going Beyond Dangerous Climate Change”)
  • Climate change is only an inconvenience. There is no such thing as ocean acidification.
  • The Capitalist Imperative of never-ending economic expansion should not be questioned.
  • The U.S. is a force of global good with an outstanding foreign policy.
  • The U.S. has an exemplary political/economic system whereas many other countries are corrupt. The Citizens United decision does not exist.
  • There is no other desirable political/economic system except U.S. petro/crony capitalism. The rest of the world aspires to be like the U.S. Those proposing alternate systems such as Gus Speth, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Richard Heinberg, and Gar Alperovitz don’t exist. 
  • Austerity is great.
  • The worldwide financial industry is robust. There were no lessons to be learned from the subprime crisis and there is no need to reform the industry.
  • Recent US constitutional transgressions in support of national security are great.

Cole Thompson

Jul 4, 2015, 7:41:39 PM7/4/15
Interesting - I'll admit I didn't read that when it came out in 2012.  Your blog post seems like a good summary, and sadly it rings true.  In particular the abilities of the U.S. foreign policy establishment should be deep questioned now.  

I'll just add that a really thought provoking book, which explains well "why does the U.S. keep doing these weird things? " is
"American Nations" by Colin Woodward.
A summary is at but really, try to read or skim the book if possible.  While reading it I kept having "a-ha!" moments, because as a coastal Californian who was in the U.S. army decades ago, for the first time I understood why those from the Deep South and Appalachia were the way they were, and so on.  Alas the book doesn't have a solution, but I have to say, it really explains an awful lot, for better or (mostly) worse.

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