I was over on the H-Cat forum and found a discussion about a document published by the British Ministry of Defence titled “Global Strategic Trends out to 2040”. The publication was last updated on October 17, 2013, and is an attempt to provide forecasting and guidance about the development of world conditions, and especially about influences that could lead to disruption and destabilization.
Being a document involved in predictions there is a lot of hedging involved; the document talks about certainties, probabilities and possibilities when it comes to the likelihood of certain things coming to pass, so it should be read carefully.
One section of the document (found on page 91) deals with what are termed ‘Strategic Shocks’, defined as “high impact events that have the potential to rapidly alter the strategic context.” Some examples provided as strategic shocks that have significantly altered the strategic environment and have had a sea-changing influence on the course of history are the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the 9/11 terror attacks, and the 2008-9 financial crisis.
Strategic shocks are by nature unpredictable, but the document gives some examples of some ‘credible’ occurrences that could dramatically shake things up — such as a cure for aging, collapse of a pivotal nation, or a breakdown in global communications systems.
Another one is listed as ‘New Energy Source’:
“A novel, efficient form of energy generation could be developed that rapidly lowers demand for hydrocarbons. For example, the development of commercially available cold fusion reactors could result in the rapid economic marginalisation of oil-rich states. This loss of status and income in undiversified economies could lead to state-failure and provide opportunities for extremist groups to rise in influence.” (emphasis added)”
It’s interesting to me that cold fusion technology is the only example given here of a radical new energy source — possibly an indication that there are analysts at the UK MOD monitoring what’s going on in the LENR field.
Certainly the potential for disruption from the development of commercial level LENR is huge — as we have discussed here many times. That defense and military planners are looking at it should not be surprising; I think it’s a sign that there is recognition that is a possibility the technology has the potential to have a widespread disruptive influence. The potential for positive change coming from LENR, in my opinion, is huge, but there will certainly be major challenges involved in dealing with the upheaval that this new energy source could bring.