I recently read a book – “The World in 2050 – Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future” by Laurence C. Smith – and I can’t seem to stop talking about it. So, here I go again…
By looking at demographic trends, climate change, natural resource demand, and globalization the author paints an accurate picture of the current state of earth’s affairs and extrapolates just a bit to give an idea of what the earth might be like in the year 2050.
The main idea is that the countries surrounding the arctic circle (Canada, United States, Russia, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden…) will have increased economic and population growth and increased political power and resources, while those countries closer to the equator will have increased overpopulation, severe water shortages, and decreased economic vitality.
Smith, a UCLA Geography Professor, very clearly states that this not a prediction of the future, but a logical assumption based on state of the art model projections and analytical data. The whole – the choices that we make today, will change the future of tomorrow – idea.
It is a very well written book. Not that dull, dry, textbook kind of read; no – this book kept my interest from start to finish. It has an accurate and comprehensive foundation of knowledge with just enough of a science fiction, armageddony kind of vibe to play the what if game with.
Some interesting factoids from the book:
In the year 2008, world population went from being more rural in nature, to being more urban for the first time in human history.
The current average rate of northern migration of plants and animals is equivalent to your lawn moving 5 feet north every day.
The natural cycles of plants and animals are beginning earlier every year – it would be like your birthday coming a day earlier each passing year.
Everyone should read this book – really. It is a great overview of what we are dealing with at the present and how it is likely to continue in the future. Climate change is effecting all of us, whether we want to admit it or not. It is better to be armed with knowledge, than oblivious to the truth.
Thanks for reading!