Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Future challenges; Global megatrend scenario for the Arctic by Laurence Smith

Following is an extract from an article published by futurechallenges.org, painting a verbal picture of the future of the Arctic states that we might help visualize in the course of this studio;

Laurence Smith sets up a thought experiment. Taking current data on megatrends as his basis, he tries to imagine what the world could look like in 2050 while avoiding taking account of any unpredictable developments like abrupt climate change. His conclusion is that the Northern Rim Countries (Russia, United States, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden) will benefit from these four megatrends mainly because warming in the Arctic region will release a vast amount of natural resources (like oil and gas) for exploitation. Furthermore, the water reserves in these countries will even grow unlike those of the global south. Plus, with the exception of Russia, the population in these countries is expected to grow whereas many other industrialized countries will suffer from a sharp drop in population.

At the end of his book Smith emphasizes that the impacts of the megatrends he outlines are not unavoidable. They are influenced by societal decisions. Personal decisions, he says, can indeed alter the perceptions and decisions of others.

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