Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future Paperback – October 25, 2011
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
Second - Dr. Smith exhibits a sly sense of humor often missing in serious compilations of facts and figures. It creeps up on you slowly, gives you a couple of moments where you will actually laugh out loud, and then maintains a consistent twinkle. He does it without trying, which gives you the impression he can be trusted. His sense of humor accepts that some ludicrous things come to pass, and some things we think of as inevitable, never come close to happening.
Third - Viewing grain as water transfer. Enlightening.
Fourth - Considering the relationship between water and oil. Pretty damn enthralling, if you let it sink in.
Fifth - If you think about these ideas long enough, you will start to consider armageddony things. Yet the book will make you feel surprisingly optimistic.
Sixth - While this book just skims the surface, the ideas in it run the gamut of Yergin's "The Prize." This book could serve as an introduction to "The Prize: Part II." You can see the potential in the future of this story.
Seven - Dr. Smith does not assume technology will save us. Which is refreshing, and necessary. There is a strong feeling of realism in his account.
Eight - The book will spark your imagination more than Disney Land. It will help you fall in love with the North.
Nine - It will make you want to learn Norwegian.
Ten - You will be happy you hit the - Add to Cart - button.
The author derives that our future is driven by two dominant forces: demographic growth and economic growth. Both will push upward our consumption of natural resources. And, this growth in resource consumption will butt against the constraints of resources availability.
Our demographic growth appears predictable. Relying on relevant data, the author anticipates by 2050 the World population will increase by 31% or from 7 billion currently to 9.2 billion. However, the urban component will nearly double from 3.5 to 6.4 billion. While the rural population will shrink from 3.5 to 2.8 billion. Population growth will be unevenly distributed and mainly concentrated in Third World countries. Many Third world cities will become gigantic. And, many of them will become unsustainable, chaotic, violent slums they already are today (example: Lagos in Nigeria projected to hold 16 million by 2025). Others may emerge as the next Singapore or Hong Kong.
Another predictable pattern is that the entire world is aging. Nations will incur rising dependency ratios with more retirees per actively employed individuals. This will strain fiscal solvency due to rising entitlement costs worldwide.Read more ›
Consider the internal combustion engine; invented in the 1870s, it took 40 years to develop the "horseless carriage" which, a century later, depends on the same basic engines. In the 1930s, the aviation industry learned how to move people in an aluminum tube with wings, much as railroads move people and goods in long metal boxes; the basic ideas are still used despite decades of 'Popular Mechanix' suggestions. In the 1960s, I attended seminars on computerized word processing; the advances since are due more to Moore's Law than to new concepts.
That said, Smith is far better than any 'Popular Mechanix' feature. But, he seems to leap too far too fast; human progress is incremental rather than any Great Leap Forward. Granted, I can endorse and encourage almost every element of this book; but, I have the nagging feeling a viable energy future may involve growing algae in the deserts instead of wearing mukluks in the snow.
Having lived just south of James Bay, where temperatures do drop to - 50 F degrees, I fully sympathize with the attraction of the far north. A century ago, Robert W. Service and Jack London wrote incomparable stories about arctic life. Yet, given the choice between wet mushy slush and pure driven icy snow, more Canadians prefer Toronto than the elegantly designed town of Kapuskasing, built by 'The New York Times.'
Fortunately, Smith cites the environmentalist's nightmare of the Athabasca Tar Sands, which is somewhat analogous to the coal-powered Four Corners Generating Station.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Writing is a bit colleague congratulatory centered, but once you get beyond that the information covered is considerable and compelling.Published 5 months ago by J.Denby
Dr. Smith did an excellent job describing realistic projections of climate change, demographic change, etc. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Marina4UCLA
I've read this book twice and I'm ready to read it for the third time. I have also given the book to a number of friends as a gift.
Good read, well researched hypothesis with reasonable assumptions. Better than most future extrapolation books.Published 15 months ago by Andrew Nelson Gregory
This was a very interesting read! I had to read the book for a Geography of the Future course at my university. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dan R.
Most of this material is pretty familiar by now (if you keep up with climate change at all). Still, the Book was well done and reads well. Read morePublished 17 months ago by N. Perz
Pro: Informative and intriguing.
Con: Fully forgettable. Nothing from this book stuck with me.