My Introduction / Review;
This book takes the form of a thought experiment propelled by the four global forces, of demography, natural resource demand, globalization, and climate change, plus a fifth — of enduring legal frameworks — and follows ground rules as stated in the opening chapter: That this study shall not be subject too Sudden Silver Bullets (incremental and unforeseeable advances in technology), World War III – no radical reshuffling of our geopolitics and laws (although in my own view this World War III has long been underway and is less traditional than economic -please see Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine) +/Or Hidden Genies, like a global depression, a killer pandemic, or sudden climate change.
How will the world change within our own life times, a scientifically deduced view of the growing population trends and accompanying demands on limited world resources, of species extinctions and other ecological changes forcing unprecedented social and cultural upheavals, of the possibilities of new powers protecting or even prospecting for resources in other territories by force of arms (such as water Wars or etc).
True, we have a diverse basket of new energy resources, but we still rely heavily upon fossil fuels and the development trends and lack of substantial enough alternatives suggest the dependency will continue. Natural gas is especially lucrative and under aggressive development in all corners of the world. In addition billions of southern organisms will press northward, including us. These broad pressures and trends portend great changes to the northern quarter of our planet, making it a place of higher human activity and strategic activity than today.
Nunavut. President Keskitalo’s Argument;
”In Tromsø sitting with Aili Keskitalo, president of the Norwegian Sámi Parliament. She was describing the plight of her Sámi people (Lapps), the aboriginal occupants of northern Europe.
‘Our language. Our symbols. Our traditional knowledge. They are threatened. In some areas, to a very large extent. We need to have a say in how the natural resources are exploited!’
Unfortunately, a naturally twitchy climate makes the steady, predictable push from anthropogenic greenhouse gases more dangerous, not less. From the geological past we know the Earth’s climate has not always been so quiet as it is now. Therefore, through greenhouse loading we are applying a persistent pressure to a system prone to sudden jumps in ways we don’t fully understand. Imagine a wildcat quietly sleeping on your porch—it looks peaceful but is by nature an ill-tempered, unpredictable beast that might spring into a flurry of teeth and claws in an instant. Greenhouse gases are your knuckles pressing inexorably into its soft slumbering belly; the global ecosystem is your exposed hand and arm.”…
“The climate change, it makes the oil, the gas, the mineral resources in the North more accessible. So the need to get control over the resource management is even more important, because of the climate change.” She sat back in exasperation. “If you have no representation, how can you have an influence on resource management?
”If there was ever a moment when my perspective suddenly broadened on the future of the northern countries I was traveling, that was probably it. We talked some more, so I could assemble in my own head what was already so obvious in hers. Everything is linked. Shrinking ice, natural resource demand, and political power were all tugging on each other. My scientist’s training had wrongly led me down the path of dissect, isolate, and rank. This works well for a focused problem, but is not always best for gaining a synoptic understanding of the world.”
Thus we join the dots to see the bigger picture and how everything really is linked to everything else, change is inevitable, if we understand a little of what may follow we might better cherish the present and nurture the best of possible future outcomes”….
Of further concern is the fact that scientific research has recently revealed that our climatic emergence from the last ice age was neither gradual nor smooth. Instead it underwent rapid flip-flops, seesawing back and forth between glacial and interglacial (warm) temperatures several times before finally settling down into a warmer state. These large temperature swings happened in less than a decade and as quickly as three years. Precipitation doubled in as little as a single year….
The Pentagon’s report, which outlines possible social scenarios if what occurred 8,200 years ago were to happen again today (quite scary) describes wars, starvation, disease, refugee flows, a human population crash, civil war in China, and the defensive fortification of the United States and Australia.
”To me, the old debates of Malthus and Marx, of Ehrlich and Simon, miss the point. The question is not how many people there are versus barrels of oil remaining, or acres of arable land, or drops of water churning through the hydrologic cycle. The question is not how much resource consumption the global ecosystem can or cannot absorb. It’s moot to wonder whether the world should optimally hold nine billion people or nine million, colonize the sea, or all move to Yakutsk. No doubt we humans will survive anything, even if polar bears and Arctic cod do not. Perhaps we could support nine hundred billion if we choose a world with no large animals, pod apartments, genetically engineered algae to eat, and desalinized toilet water to drink. Or perhaps nine hundred million if we choose a wilder planet, generously restocked with the creatures of our design. To me, the more important question is not of capacity, but of desire: What kind of world do we want?”
Absolutely stunning book which lays the whole world and all its developmental trends before the reader in a totally comprehensive manner lacking the obscurantist occlusion or mere one-upmanship of many scientific authors who dazzle with detail the less specialist reader.
If you care to understand the present and future trends of big Businesses and Governments and the hardlines underpinning their perspectives, here you will find a vast array of evidence based assessment and demographic details delivered in an entirely acessible manner.
& all near future residents of Earth..
Siberian Elder Wisdom, The Sakhas or Sakha-Yakuts ( Horse People) northeast Siberia.
may All our choices be blest **~