- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1586486365
- ASIN: B004I1JQZ2
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,806,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Future History of the Arctic Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 2, 2010
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“As the Arctic thaws, nations around the globe are jockeying for access to its mineral resources and potentially lucrative new shipping routes. With considerable on-site reporting, Emmerson surveys the environmental and geopolitical changes under way.”
“Charles Emmerson’s The Future History of the Arctic has the strongest narrative of the three [books on the Arctic] because his is most firmly grounded in a knowledge of the region’s past.”
E, the Environmental magazine
“This new vision of the Arctic, as a site of exploitation and source of political conflict, is chilling indeed.”
“Charles Emmerson has written a superb book, which seamlessly intertwines travelogue, history and jargon-free analysis… The Future History of the Arctic is as reviving as a blast of polar air, bringing the Arctic into wonderfully clear focus; one of the most impressive accounts of the contemporary Arctic I’ve read.”
The Financial Times
Winnipeg Free Press
Energy-Musings.com, June 8, 2010
“The Future History of the Arctic is well researched and written. It is based on extensive interviews conducted by the author that provide information supporting the book’s themes he explores. The book is an easy way to grasp the significant issues and their context that have shaped and are continuing to shape the politics of the Arctic – one of the last great energy frontiers remaining on the planet. While the current U.S. offshore drilling moratorium is a setback for Alaska drilling, the issue of what drilling and how it is done in the Arctic region – in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Norway, Greenland and Iceland – will become front page news in the not too distant future. We urge you to consider adding Mr. Emmerson’s book to your summer reading list.”
The Guardian, April 18, 2010
“Emmerson produces the most comprehensive analysis… All three are to be commended for their crisp, easily digestible prose, for their clarity and for their avoidance of sentimentality or over-obsessive attention to detail.”
“Charles Emmerson's The Future History of the Arctic is a much broader survey of the international Arctic, written to dispel European myths of a tranquil kingdom, with strong sections on Russia, Greenland and Iceland.”
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This is a testament to his skills not only as a master of geopolitical affairs but as a storyteller. He introduces self-deprecating humor to serious situations. He brings touching insight to his interviews with people. He brings humility to the human affairs of poor communities in remote landscapes.
Future History of the Arctic is, at its core, less about a cold analysis of strategic imperatives and fateful policy decisions than it is a story about the fears and aspirations of individuals, the ones who have, and will, and must make hard decisions, based on what they see as their own self interest. He succeeds to the extent that he makes their self interest our own. We become individuals who must weigh in on decisions, knowing they affect us all.
We see the potential for the Arctic to become governed peacefully and carefully, much like its southern polar counterpart; we also see the potential for it to become a cold and depopulated global version of Somalia.
Thanks to his narrative skill, Emerson does not push us in one direction or the other, he lets us find our way there on our own as his voice is seen nowhere and felt everywhere. A bravura accomplishment.
Emmerson sees the Northwest Passage as taking longer to develop than some interpretations. With open seas shipping lanes through the Arctic, distances between trading partners may be cut sharply. He points out that even if the ice does melt, that weather is very difficult for ships and may hinder any developments. The future may well see increasing Chinese interest, with unknown consequences. And with such a large portion of the Arctic in Russia, the stability of Russia becomes an important element for the future. Russian energy exploitation of the Arctic has been huge, but not efficient and something of a disaster for the environment. As yet undeveloped energy resources may be very large, and there would be no concerns about politics of an unstable Middle East--although competition among the Arctic nations could lead to conflict. The Russians and Americans are the heavies of the future, with Canada as a medium and Scandinavia as lighter weights. Then there are the native peoples.
Because of my personal interest, I was particularly interested in the portions about Greenland. A Greenland with true independence from Denmark will probably be the most important voice for actual natives of the region.
The Nordic nations, Canada, the United States and Russia are all after the oil and gas beneath the Arctic Ocean; who will get the
most? All are quite capable of pursuing their objectives with
What about the melting ice?
Charles Emmerson has given the reader some thought provoking issues
about the FROZEN north and how it will have profound consequences
in the years to come.
Arguably, the book may be one of the best on this subject because
of the author's predilection to use the interviewing method to see the future prospects.
Read this 'future history' and suggest to family and colleagues.
St. Andrews, Scotland