Smith Lecture: The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Our Northern Future
This talk will present a balanced, politically neutral based projection of what the world might look like in forty years' time, should current global trends in (1) population demographics, (2) resource demand, (3) economic globalization, and (4) climate change continue their current trajectories. The first part of the talk ("The Push") identifies key global pressures and trends, for example in urbanization, population aging, energy technology, water supply, immigration, and the rising economies of China, India and the developing world. The second part ("The Pull") describes the emergence of the "Northern Rim", comprised of Canada, the northern United States, Greenland/Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Russian Federation. These eight northern countries and their surrounding seas will experience profound physical and social transformation over the next 40 years, making the Northern Rim a place of rising human activity, environmental risk, and global strategic value relative to today.