Alternative Worlds

Which alternative world will we really see?

Which alternative world will we really see?

A new report by the U.S. intelligence community looks at global trends through 2030. But have they missed the alternative world that will really come?

Every four years the U.S. National Intelligence Council presents the incoming president with an assessment of global trends. The report released this month, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” focuses on four megatrends, six game changers and four possible worlds that could result.


The report identified four megatrends:

  • “Individual empowerment will accelerate owing to poverty reduction, growth of the global middle class, greater educational attainment, widespread use of new communications and manufacturing technologies, and health-care advances.”
  • No one country will lead the world of 2030. “Power will shift to networks and coalitions in a multipolar world.”
  • Demographic patterns will have a big impact. “Economic growth might decline in ‘aging’ countries. Sixty percent of the world’s population will live in urbanized areas; migration will increase.”
  • Demand for scarce food, water and energy “will grow substantially owing to an increase in the global population.”

This combination of trends promises a much different and less predictable world.

Game changers and black swans

In a complex, rapidly changing and multipolar world, the megatrends are only the beginning point in predicting the future.

The executive summary of the report explains: “We believe that six key game-changers—questions regarding the global economy, governance, conflict, regional instability, technology, and the role of the United States—will largely determine what kind of transformed world we will inhabit in 2030.”

Conflict within and between countries is a given, especially in a world that will no longer depend on the United States as “global policeman.” And the global economy looks sure to continue to be crisis prone. The trends and game changers seem scary enough, but the report also highlights possible “black swan” events that could disrupt everything. Two particularly frightening ones are:

  • A severe pandemic that “could result in millions of people suffering and dying in every corner of the world in less than six months.”
  • “Nuclear powers such as Russia and Pakistan and potential aspirants such as Iran and North Korea see nuclear weapons as compensation for other political and security weaknesses, heightening the risk of their use. The chance of nonstate actors conducting a cyber attack—or using WMD—also is increasing.”

Possible worlds

The interactions of all the factors presented in the report led the authors to propose four distinct futures for discussion purposes but with the caveat that “none of these alternative worlds is inevitable. In reality, the future probably will consist of elements from all the scenarios.”

The report highlights the current period as an important, and uncertain, transition point in history.

“The present recalls past transition points—such as 1815, 1919, 1945, and 1989—when the path forward was not clear-cut and the world faced the possibility of different global futures. We have more than enough information to suggest that however rapid change has been over the past couple decades, the rate of change will accelerate in the future. Accordingly, we have created four scenarios that represent distinct pathways for the world out to 2030: Stalled Engines, Fusion, Gini Out-of-the-Bottle [referring to the Gini coefficient, a statistical measurement of inequality of income], and Nonstate World.”

If you’d like to know more about these alternative worlds, you can read the report from the Director of National Intelligence website. But have the intelligence analysts overlooked important trends? Have they missed a future scenario that is sure to come?

Overlooked megatrends and an inevitable outcome

The Bible looks at our complex world through a unique lens: the viewpoint of our Creator God. From God’s perspective, humanity has been on a downward spiral of sin that leads to death and destruction. Humanity’s choices are based on pride, selfishness and greed—in simple terms, the way of “get.”

In contrast, God’s way of life is the way of “give.” Expressing God’s love by obeying His laws produces wonderful benefits. But few have chosen this path.

If humanity continues on its chosen highway to destruction—and there’s sadly no reason to hope humanity will move from this path—the only possible outcome is destruction.

The dangers laid out in “Global Trends 2030” are real, and the Bible predicts that worst-case scenarios will come to pass. Humanity will reach the brink of self-destruction. Jesus Christ Himself predicted:

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved” (Matthew 24:21-22).

But thankfully the Bible reveals an incredible game changer that the U.S. intelligence community and most of mankind is unaware of.

Jesus Christ promises to return to rescue us. He will set up a government that will have the power to address the problems and enforce the solutions this desperate world needs.

Read more about this wonderful future world that will come. It’s called the Kingdom of God, and you need to understand more about it. Examine the articles in our section on the “Kingdom of God.” They provide insight and actionable information you can use now to prepare for a much brighter future.

About the Author

Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett is editorial content manager for the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in the Dallas, Texas, area. He coordinates the Life, Hope & Truth website, Discern magazine, the Daily Bible Verse Blog and the Life, Hope & Truth Weekly Newsletter (including World Watch Weekly). He is also part of the Personal Correspondence team of ministers who have the privilege of answering questions sent to Life, Hope & Truth.

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