|Forum topic by GMman||posted 09-25-2010 04:14 PM||3083 views||1 time favorited||158 replies|
09-25-2010 04:14 PM
Could global warming turn Canada into a superpower?
25/09/2010 7:39:17 AM
That’s the theory put forward in Laurence C. Smith’s new book “The World in 2050”—a scientific exploration of the effects of climate change over the next 40 years.
According to Smith’s 40-year projection, global warming will free up northern natural resources such as oil, gas and water. That in turn will attract immigrants and lead to new infrastructure and development for northern rim countries—NORCs, as he calls them—at a time when southern countries will be running out of resources and seeing their populations fall.
The north will also warm up, meaning fewer and fewer of those -40 Celsius days that tend to grind productivity to a halt.
But this is not a reason to celebrate, Smith is quick to point out. While Canada, Russia, the Scandinavian countries and northern U.S. will see significant benefits from a warming planet, the rest of the world will suffer catastrophic losses.
“Most climate change is overwhelmingly negative, I’m not a Pollyanna,” he told CTV.ca from his office at UCLA, noting that we are already experiencing the harsh effects of a warming planet.
“The pine beetle is devastating B.C. timber and summer heat waves knocked out 30 per cent of Russia wheat crop, so it would be disingenuous of me to suggest all of this spells nothing but good news. But alongside the bad news there will be some beneficial changes.”
Smith, a scientist and professor of geography and earth sciences at the University of California Los Angeles, set out four years ago to write a book about the negative effects of climate change in the north.