Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Global Warming To Make Canada a Major Powerhouse

A top U.S. geographer is amking long term predictions that Canada will become a major world power by 2050 as part of a climate-driven transformation of global trade, agriculture and geopolitics highlighted by the rise of the "Northern Rim" nations.

That is if you believe it is possible to make 40-year forecasts. Many things will completely change by then and it is simply not possible to know what will come up as new technologies.

The forecasst was made by UCLA scientist Laurence Smith, who examined the effects of global warming, and finds that many of them are positive for countries such as Canada.

Tne findings are published in his book "The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future". Amazon link:

Among the reasons are:

  • climate change
  • population growth
  • looming resource scarcity
  • global economic integration
  • opening of arctic shipping lanes during summer months
"In many ways, the New North is well positioned for the coming century even as its unique ecosystem is threatened by the linked forces of hydrocarbon development and amplified climate change,"

On his quest: "I kept badgering people for stories about climate change,""They'd sigh and oblige me, but then say, 'There's also this oil plant going up behind me,' or 'All these Filipino immigrants are pouring in.' Within about two months, I realized there is a lot more going on up there besides climate change. Climate change is a critical threat to many people, but it isn't the sole development in their lives."

The book says that Canada and the other Northern Rim Countries are poised to become "polar tigers" similar to how several smaller Asian countries emerged in recent decades as powerhouse Pacific Rim economies.

Arctic oil and gas deposits, of which for sure we have a lot here, will make Canada jump into higher income brackets in the global community. Alos, our projected population growth is also central to the rise of his "New North" on the world stage.

"As worldwide population increases by 40 per cent over the next 40 years, sparsely populated Canada, Scandinavia, Russia and the northern United States will become formidable economic powers and migration magnets,"

"While wreaking havoc on the environment, global warming will liberate a treasure trove of oil, gas, water and other natural resources previously locked in the frozen North, enriching residents and attracting newcomers."

"Those resources will become available precisely at a time when natural resources elsewhere are becoming critically depleted, making them all the more valuable."

According to Mr. Smith's, several northern cities in Canada, the Northern U.S., Scandinavia and elsewhere will increase in size and prominence, including: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary, Edmonton, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Ottawa (thanks!), Reykjavik, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Moscow.

"[these places] will be among the few places on Earth where crop production will likely increase due to climate change," "... will become the envy of the world for their reserves of fresh water, which may be sold and transported to other regions."

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