In his new book, The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future, UCLA geologist Dr. Laurence C. Smith distills cutting edge scientific research into four global forces (demographic trends, natural resource demand, climate change, and globalization) to offer a vivid prediction of what the world we leave to our children and grandchildren will be like. The world's population is exploding, wild species are vanishing, our environment is degrading, and the costs of resources from oil to water are going nowhere but up. The result of Smith's grand "thought experiment" is both good news and bad: Eight nations of the Arctic Rim (including the United States) will become increasingly prosperous, powerful, and politically stable, while those closer to the equator will face water shortages, aging populations, and crowded megacities sapped by the rising costs of energy and coastal flooding.moreless
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