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The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping…
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The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Laurence C. Smith

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287781,679 (3.73)5
"A vivid, scientifically based forecast of our planet in forty years, distilling cutting edge research into these world-changing forces: demographic trends; natural resource demand; climate change; globalization"--Jacket flap.What kind of world are we leaving for our children and grandchildren? Geoscientist Laurence Smith draws on the latest global modeling research to construct a sweeping thought experiment on what our world will be like in 2050. The result is both good news and bad: Eight nations of the Arctic Rim (including the United States) will become increasingly prosperous, powerful, and politically stable, while those closer to the equator will face water shortages, aging populations, and crowded megacities sapped by the rising costs of energy and coastal flooding. Smith combines the lessons of geography and history with state-of-the-art model projections and analytical data--everything from climate dynamics and resource stocks to age distributions and economic growth projections. But Smith offers more than a compendium of statistics and studies--he spent fifteen months traveling the Arctic Rim, collecting stories and insights that resonate throughout the book.--From publisher description.… (more)
Member:Chicalicious
Title:The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future
Authors:Laurence C. Smith
Info:Plume (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Smith uses computer models to predict what the world might be like in 2050, taking into account long term trends in weather, technology advancement and social changes. He predicts a largely optimistic view of the future, at least in aggregate. Getting from here to there looks like a pretty rocky road. I'd suggest, based on the book, that you move north. ( )
  capewood | Mar 12, 2022 |
shelved in HT Green Library - by Reception - Monograph Library (R)
  HT.LibraryBooks | Jul 21, 2021 |
This book explores the things that humanity has waiting for it in the next few decades.

The number of mega-cities (those with a population of over 10 million) will only rise, as the world's population will pass 9 billion. Some of those cities will be clean and efficient, like Singapore. It is much more likely that they will be over-crowded, polluted and crime-filled, like Lagos, Nigeria. The question is not will sea levels or the Earth's overall temperature rise, but, by how much will they rise.

As the world gets older and grayer, and as America's baby boomers start to retire, younger workers will be needed to keep the economy moving. Where will these workers come from? Water problems, and water shortages, in normally dry places like sub-Saharan Africa and the American Southwest, will only get worse.

The author spends much of the book looking at the New North, the countries that border the Arctic Circle, including America, Canada, Russia and Scandinavia. There is the potential for a lot of oil or natural gas under the ice. In Alaska and Canada, local indigenous groups have gained joint, or total, control, over the natural resources that lie under their feet. The extending of the temperate climate zone to the north makes agriculture more and more possible on formerly barren land (like growing potatoes in Greenland). The thawing of the permafrost makes building more difficult in remote northern towns. Digging foundations, or putting in pylons on which to build a building is impossible when rock-solid ice is only a foot or two below ground level. It also shortens the "trucking season," where those remote northern towns can be re-supplied by trucks, which is a lot cheaper than doing it by boat or helicopter (think of the TV show "Ice Road Truckers").

This is a fascinating book. For some people, the information here may not exactly be new, but the author does an excellent job. It is compelling, and very much worth reading. ( )
  plappen | Aug 19, 2017 |
A lot of things I'd never heard of ( ' ice roads ' ) Never heard the term ' dumpage ' before. ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
What kind of world will we be living in by 2050? Will we be able to keep up with a growing world population and seemingly diminishing resources?

Laurence C. Smith is a geographer and a professor at UCLA. What he goes into depth about is a lot more than just climate change. He goes into depth of how the Arctic is changing and how this change is fuelling a race for new resources - oil, natural gas, mining, shipping and open land.

I found it easy enough to follow. The conclusions that Laurence C. Smith are quite unnerving. He isn't biased, swaying to one side or another, he gives the pros and cons of everything he has witnessed and believes is set to happen.

Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRICs) are going to become the world's new manufacturing powers and India's cities are going to be some of the largest by 2025.

The NORCs, Denmark, Canada, USA, Russia, Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Norway, are going to benefit greatly by the opening of the Arctic. He went on to describe how the United Nations Arctic Treaty has started to cement peaceful control over the area. The NORC countries in the future are set to become migrant magnets and economic powers.

By 2050 if the human population and economic prosperity trajections continues then water could eventually be seen as "blue oil" as demand slowly outweighs supply. It is possible that by 2050 the northern countries could be finding ways to supply southern countries with water as they soon find out they do not have enough. The wildlife will see a great increase in the rate of extinction not seen for millions of years whereas society will have to choose dirtier power sources to keep up with the demand.

I think he might be wrong in some of his predictions of the future. He doesn't take into account new technology, the possibility of nuclear or major, multi-country, conventional war like WWII and no hidden gems - decade long global depressions, unstoppable killer disease pandemics or meteorite impacts. ( )
1 vote Chicalicious | Jun 3, 2015 |
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"A vivid, scientifically based forecast of our planet in forty years, distilling cutting edge research into these world-changing forces: demographic trends; natural resource demand; climate change; globalization"--Jacket flap.What kind of world are we leaving for our children and grandchildren? Geoscientist Laurence Smith draws on the latest global modeling research to construct a sweeping thought experiment on what our world will be like in 2050. The result is both good news and bad: Eight nations of the Arctic Rim (including the United States) will become increasingly prosperous, powerful, and politically stable, while those closer to the equator will face water shortages, aging populations, and crowded megacities sapped by the rising costs of energy and coastal flooding. Smith combines the lessons of geography and history with state-of-the-art model projections and analytical data--everything from climate dynamics and resource stocks to age distributions and economic growth projections. But Smith offers more than a compendium of statistics and studies--he spent fifteen months traveling the Arctic Rim, collecting stories and insights that resonate throughout the book.--From publisher description.

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