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Top 10 Breaking Futures

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posted on Feb, 21 2007 @ 07:10 AM
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Here is a possible list of the top 10 global uncertainties that could become breaking news any time soon and significantly affect our lives.

source: www.mindofafox.com

Nuclear Terrorism
This remains top of our list (as it was in our letter to George Bush). The formula is out there and so are the materials and the skills. Human ingenuity being what it is, you cannot discount the possibility of a nuclear weapon ending up in the wrong hands. The devastation it would cause would completely overshadow all terrorist incidents to date.


Military Wars
Wars - other than the two World Wars - have not disrupted the world economy to any significant degree. However, they obviously disrupt the economies and lives of the citizens of the countries in which they are being fought. The most dangerous trouble spot in 2006 remains Israel and the Middle East in that events there can spill over into global politics. Tensions over the election win by Hamas and the Iranian nuclear programme can only exacerbate the situation. Sadly, the human race has never lost its inclination for violence as a way of settling scores and probably never will.


Global Climate Change
The unprecedented number and ferocity of hurricanes through the Southern States of the USA as well as through Central America could be related to the heating up of the atmosphere and the greater energy contained therein. It will be interesting to see what 2006 brings. Will New Orleans be flooded again?


Water Shortages
The two countries which are currently experiencing water shortages are Australia and surprisingly the UK. Is it related to climate change? No one knows for sure. The economics of water, particularly where rivers flow through different countries, is already a hot issue and could become more so in 2006.


Higher Energy Prices
Recently oil prices touched $70 a barrel which was equivalent in real terms to the peak in the late 1970s during the 'second oil price shock'. This time there were no shocks as many economies have become more service intensive and less fuel intensive. However, the prospect of oil prices entering a significantly higher band (say $35 - $100) is real as demand from China and other developing economies outstrips new supplies. This (together with global warming) could create a major impetus towards alternative energy sources (uranium, fuel cells etc) as well as initiate a gradual change in our living patterns which have been based on cheap energy for the last 145 years.


Trade Wars
China's incredible success in penetrating overseas markets (and thereby closing down/taking over foreign industries) could lead to a major backlash from the West and other countries. As long as the backlash takes the form of negotiated compromises between the parties concerned, the fruits of globalisation can continue to be enjoyed. If, however, things turn nasty, a major deterioration in world economic growth caused by renewed protectionism is possible.


Unsustainable US Debt and Deficits
The magnitude of the US budget and trade deficits has for some time been worrying. More worrying, though, is the level of US debt (government, corporate, consumer) which has reached almost $40 trillion or more than 3 times GDP. How long can one go on spending what one does not actually possess or earn? If the clouds gather, expect a sharp reaction in Wall Street stock prices.


European Union Disharmony
2005 has seen major arguments between the UK and France over the running of the European Union as well as several national 'no' votes to the new constitution. Will the widening of the EU lead to greater instability in the whole institution or will it have sufficient flexibility to respond in a way that keeps all its members in the fold?


Global Epidemics
We already have one global epidemic - HIV/AIDS - the extent of which is uncertain. The question is whether it will be joined by another epidemic such as avian flu which could have a much greater impact in the short-term.


African Sunrise
Despite all the bad news that has been coming out of the Continent, Africa is definitely open for business in a way that it wasn't say 20 years ago. In selected countries, governments are improving service delivery and are creating a more favourable environment for foreign investment. Old ideologies have been shed and Africa's great talent for entrepreneurship is going to contribute to one of the big 'positive' surprises for 2006.


If you have any more to add then pls feel free.....


[edit on 21-2-2007 by Valorian]

[edit on 21-2-2007 by Valorian]

[edit on 21-2-2007 by Valorian]




posted on Feb, 21 2007 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by Valorian
Trade Wars
China's incredible success in penetrating overseas markets (and thereby closing down/taking over foreign industries) could lead to a major backlash from the West and other countries. As long as the backlash takes the form of negotiated compromises between the parties concerned, the fruits of globalisation can continue to be enjoyed. If, however, things turn nasty, a major deterioration in world economic growth caused by renewed protectionism is possible.



I would say this has already taken place and we did not win it. Look at basically everything you have thats not edible. Electronics are from China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea and even Japan.

Steel plants or whats left of them here are being bought out by Indian companies, China is fabricating steel cheaply, as is Japan. Have a look at Pittsburgh what was once a great steel making capital is now almost like a ghost town.

Look at Dell computers, what started out a business from his college dorm in the USA is now something pretty much foreign as well. Those jokes about Hindu/Pakistani/Philippino tech support people are there for a reason. Look at all the parts inside this "American" computer. I don't think there is one component made in the USA anymore. Maybe assembled in the USA and thats only because its cheaper on shipping to have everything come here at a component level instead of fully assembled. Im sure they will overcome that hurdle one day soon and cut out US assembly techs all together.


How bout the auto industry? The Big 3 are not as big as they used to be!

Furniture Industry? North Carolina furniture making is not what it used to be. With stores like IKEA all over the place you get a free order of Swedish meatballs with every purchase!

Nuclear/Energy is becoming a cluttered area as France, and Russia are also building plants and China as well soon too.

Airlines/Aerospace? Airbus has taken some big chunks of business from Boeing. Not sure lately though how that field is doing.

So what does that leave us with? Military, Agriculture and Business/Finance. If countries keep switching over to the EURO or other foreign currencies though how long will the banking industry fair outside of our country?

In the Military/Defense arena if things keep going the way they are, our only customers will be Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt, and the last 2 countries get their stuff as welfare packages. They don't pay.
France, Britain, Sweden, Russia and China and several others all produce military hardware now. Many small countries are beginnng to fabricate their own like Iran for instance.


We have fallen behind considerably.



posted on Feb, 21 2007 @ 09:51 AM
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Hey Pieman

Totally agree with your comments, especially about China, I mean China
actually owns the Panama canal, that is why there are Chinese forces there and on the Mexican border.

What do you think about basic bartering? This is an outcome we should look into, not on a Global level, but on a local level between communities.



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