The World in 2050 Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-09-23
  • Publisher: E P Dutton

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A vivid forecast of our planet in the year 2050 by a rising star in geoscience, distilling cutting-edge research into four global forces: demographic trends, natural resource demand, climate change, and globalization.

The world's population is exploding, wild species are vanishing, our environment is degrading, and the costs of resources from oil to water are going nowhere but up. So what kind of world are we leaving for our children and grandchildren? Geoscientist and Guggenheim fellow 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.

The World in 2050 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. It is an approach much like Jared Diamond took in Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse, a work of geoscientific investigation rich in the appreciation of human diversity.

Packed with stunning photographs, original maps, and informative tables, this is the most authoritative, balanced, and compelling account available of the world of challenges and opportunities that we will leave for our children.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Flying into Fort McMurrayp. 1
Martell's Hairy Prizep. 3
The Push
A Tale of Teeming Citiesp. 29
Iron, Oil, and Windp. 51
California Browning, Shanghai Drowningp. 82
The Pull
Two Weddings and a Computer Modelp. 123
One if by Land, Two if by Seap. 144
The Third Wavep. 171
Good-bye Harpoon, Hello Briefcasep. 201
Alternate Endings
The Pentagon Reportp. 223
The New Northp. 248
Notesp. 263
Creditsp. 308
Acknowledgmentsp. 309
Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Insightful vision of the future July 28, 2011
I found this textbook very insightful to read. Smith acknowledges in the beginning that it is a "thought experiment", and does a great job of taking the reader on a journey of discovery with him. I actually disagree with a few of his conclusions, but I still rate this five stars because it really got me thinking, and it addresses a lot of important topics. I recommend this textbook to anyone who wants to get their head out of the economic recession and start thinking about the future beyond our immediate cir[censored]tances.
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The World in 2050 Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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