I have been sitting on this blog post for a bit watching the other futurists talk about it and its ramifications. When a deputy editor at the Economist Robert Cottrell slams your profession professionals seem to take exception. The study of the future is not a precise one, instead it is a vision of possibilities and potential outcomes to be used in preparation and preplanning. Trend analysis and extrapolated thinking are of infinite value when done by a trained and insightful professional. Future studies and the tool kit for future studies is even evolving, and the practitioners are refining their techniques. As our environment changes the possibilities of the future change as well. Societal advents, technology break through all radically impact future scenarios. Long term scenarios must be updated frequently, which is why the classic 'flying car' adage from the 50's is such a thorn in our side - it was wishful thinking and a designer's dream. But the Electric car is another story!
Jamais Cascio of Open The Future has a fantastic line by line analysis of the offending article and I suggest that you read it in depth. His thoughts are precise and his refutations even handed.
Michele Bowman at Fringehog has another very well though out response to the article and I agree with her assessment of the dangers of lambasting an entire field of thought. As we begin to open our eyes to longer term possibilities, as the me generation begins to think beyond their own existence, those who think big, think long term, will be the ones to help the rest vision a better world and then act towards it.