Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Climate Change Could Make Canada a Major World Power

UCLA geographer Laurence Smith sees global warming bringing Canada a rosey future.   We're going to do great thanks to climate change melting the north.   We'll be raking in fortunes from Arctic resources, really living large.

"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," states Smith

The book, to be released Sept. 23, suggests Canada and the other "NORCs" — 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 are seen as key to catapulting Canada into a higher income bracket in the global community. Projected population growth — expected to be proportionally greater in northern latitudes than elsewhere, according to Smith — is also seen as 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," states the UCLA summary of Smith's vision. "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."

..."In many ways, the stresses that will be very apparent in other parts of the world by 2050 — like coastal inundation, water scarcity, heat waves and violent cities — will be easing or unapparent in northern places," Smith states. "The cities that are rising in these NORC countries are amazingly globalized, livable and peaceful."

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

Now I realize Smith is a geographer but he plainly hasn't factored in what the rest of the world will look like while we're basking in our new northern paradise.   Smith seems to assume that the rest of the world will just lay down and die.   Studies done by the Pentagon and Britain's Ministry of Defence don't see a climate change ravaged world nearly as benign as geographer Smith imagines.   As Gwynne Dyer points out in his book Climate Wars, it isn't global warming that will kill us.   We'll be swept up in wars long before we get to that point.   If we want to live in peace and prosperity, we'll have to be prepared to do an awful lot of killing to defend it.

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