A charismatic rising star vividly relates the big challenges facing the world -- Jared Diamond Smith's planetary palm-reading would be impressive enough but he also manages to pull it off with literary gusto. He combines a wide-angle-lens analysis reminiscent of Jared Diamond with a knack for narrative, including tales of numerous visits to the Arctic. New Scientist The best new geography book of the year -- Fred Pearce a lively and impressive book Wall Street Journal 'One of the most head-turning books I've ever come across recently.' World Politics Review It's refreshing to read a book that avoids the twin dangers of exaggeration and wishful thinking. The New North is such a book, and it's wonderful. [...] This is an outstanding book. -- Jonathan Wright Geographical Review Smith spent many months exploring and talking to residents in remote Arctic towns and writing their personal stories, and the result is this fascinating book. Press Association Let those who disagree come forward and make a different case. There is a lot for us to do in the meantime. -- Sir Crispin Tickell Financial Times [Smith's] new book The New North: The World in 2050, demonstrates a remarkable knack for divining global megatrends from the stuff of daily life. It seems this is a man to whom the world whispers its secrets. -- Jake Wallis Simons The Times [The New North] raise[s] urgent questions about the type of world we want to live in. -- PD Smith Guardian A consistently challenging and mind-opening exercise in futurology -- John Gray New Statesman As a geophysicist concerned with the responses of Arctic water, soil and ice to changing climates, Smith has extensive personal and academic knowledge of these regions. He seems to have travelled all over the Arctic world, and here he offers a vivid portrayal of the physical, economic and cultural upheavals the whole Norc region is undergoing. He is as good on the developments in First Peoples' politics as he is on the practicalities of ice roads and natural gas trans-shipment. He documents his accounts very informatively and his footnotes are a treat: comprehensive and thoroughly interdisciplinary. THES For a geographer whose career is dedicated to finding out how massive population growth, and depletion of mineral and water resources will transform the planet, Lawrence Smith comes across as a remarkably chirpy guy. Partly it's his engaging prose. Partly it's his quirky anecdotes of everyday life as a popular scientist: getting chatted up by an oceanographer on a Canadian ice breaker or, while interviewing Sami reindeer herders, falling for the Finnish interpreter he later married. Evening Standard Rather than contribute yet another volume to the already bloated genre of Eskimo-Woe, [Smith] set out to construct a more three-dimensional overview of what the future might hold for the countries of the north - which, by his definition, means everything above the line of 45 degrees North. The result is a thoughtful, plausible and entirely unmelodramatic read. Scotland on Sunday This is "an informed thought experiment" rather than a proper prediction. But for anyone curious about the new north-let alone anyone thinking of investing in Arctic derivatives-it is an intrinsic exercise. Economist
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
, 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.