Forecast

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - Global warming could be a boon to Russia, a European country that could be overrun by organized crime and the US dollar, and the United States itself, could further decline in importance during the next two decades, says a US intelligence report with predictions for the world in 2025.

The report, Global Trends 2025, is published every four years by the National Intelligence Council to give US leaders insight into looming problems and opportunities.

The report says the warming earth will extend Russia and Canada's growing season and ease their access to northern oil fields, which will strengthen their economies. But Russia's potential emergence as a world power may be clouded by lagging investment in its energy sector, persistent crime and government corruption, the report says.

Analysts also warn that the same kind of organized crime plaguing Russia could eventually take over the government of an Eastern or Central European country. The report is silent on which one. It also says countries in Africa and South Asia may find themselves unstable and ungoverned, as state regimes collapse or wither away under security problems and water and food shortages brought about by climate change and a population increase of 1.4 billion.

The potential for conflict will be greater in 2025 than it is now, as the world's population competes for declining and shifting food, water and energy resources. …