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UCLA scientist predicts Canada will become a global power as a result of climate change

Department of Geography Professor Laurence's Smith book "The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future" examines how global warming will effect Canada and other parts of the world.

Global warming could have a positive impact on some parts of the world—specifically countries around the arctic rim, including Canada.  Professor Smith spent 15 months traveling through Canada, Scandinavia, Russia and the northern United States. In his book "The New North" Smith states that by 2050, these countries may be flourishing. In the face of four key mega-trends: global warming, pressure on natural resources, globalization, and an exploding but aging population, some countries will benefit. Professor Smith believes that by 2050 Canada could become a global power as climate change transforms geopolitics.

“As worldwide population increases by 40% 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," said Smith. He continued, “Those resources will become available precisely at a time when natural resources elsewhere are becoming critically depleted, making them all the more valuable.”

Canadian Studies Program