Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Priorities

A new report by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) issued this month. It is titled Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds. It deals, in neutral language, with quite horrendous potential changes in the relatively near future, i.e., beginning a decade out (ht Brigitte). Two reports by the International Monetary Fund, publicized by the Christian Science Monitor, predict the quite dramatic global consequences of Peak Oil, not least, under some (to me almost obvious) scenarios, the outright collapse of economies. That story surfaced in November (ht Monique); one of the IMF papers issued in May, the other in October of this year. Links come at the end. Peak Oil refers to the moment when oil production begins to decline. I spoke of the “elephant in the room” on LaMarotte the other day, saying that nobody seems to see it as the cocktail party blabbers on. Well, obviously some people are seeing it.

The NIC is a research element of the United States Intelligence Community and reports to the Director of National Intelligence. The IMF is an organization of 188 countries concerned with promoting global monetary and financial stability. The NIC report, as might be anticipated, attempts to stress the positives; before it reaches the coming disasters, it predicts a vast rise in wealth and self-determination for the world’s surging middle classes. Well, here “locally,” the inverse seems to be happening, but never mind; there’s China. The IMF reports are in model-makers’ Mandarin; no shortage of equations. It takes very careful reading to decipher the meaning, which is that the disappearance of oil, the failure of alternatives to meet demand, the rapid exhaustion of coal, and hitting Peak Nuke if nuclear energy production exhausts uranium reserves, will produce fantastic increases in oil prices quite early—so much so that the Mandarins’ models of economies collapse—because, presumably, the economies they model do.

Food for quiet thought under the brightly burning lamp.

Now, having at least located and skimmed some of these reports last night and this morning, I thought I’d surface to check out the New York Times. In it one important story caught my eye. It concerns a Federal Trade Commission report titled “Many Apps for Children Fall Short on Disclosure.” Apparently these apps quietly collect “sensitive” information from children to be used for some purpose. That purpose is probably to “personalize” advertising targeting. (What’s happening to this language!) Well, anyway. Our first priority should certainly be protecting our privacy. Down the list a ways comes global economic,  political, energy, water, food, and population melt down. Someday, and evidently soon, the NCI and IMF studies project plenty of privacy for the few who will actually survive the Armageddon approaching us in slow motion now.
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NCI report: link. IMF reports: link; further links to the reports are at the top of the news story.

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