- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Profile Books; 1st Edition edition (10 Mar. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846688760
- ISBN-13: 978-1846688768
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.3 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The New North Hardcover – 10 Mar 2011
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A charismatic rising star vividly relates the big challenges facing the world (Jared Diamond)
Smith's planetary palm-reading would be impressive enough but he also manages to pull it off with literary gusto. He combines a wide-angle-lens analysis reminiscent of Jared Diamond with a knack for narrative, including tales of numerous visits to the Arctic. (New Scientist)
The best new geography book of the year (Fred Pearce)
a lively and impressive book (Wall Street Journal)
'One of the most head-turning books I've ever come across recently.' (World Politics Review)
It's refreshing to read a book that avoids the twin dangers of exaggeration and wishful thinking. The New North is such a book, and it's wonderful. [...] This is an outstanding book. (Jonathan Wright Geographical Review)
Smith spent many months exploring and talking to residents in remote Arctic towns and writing their personal stories, and the result is this fascinating book. (Press Association)
Let those who disagree come forward and make a different case. There is a lot for us to do in the meantime. (Sir Crispin Tickell Financial Times)
[Smith's] new book The New North: The World in 2050, demonstrates a remarkable knack for divining global megatrends from the stuff of daily life. It seems this is a man to whom the world whispers its secrets. (Jake Wallis Simons The Times)
[The New North] raise[s] urgent questions about the type of world we want to live in. (PD Smith Guardian)
A consistently challenging and mind-opening exercise in futurology (John Gray New Statesman)
As a geophysicist concerned with the responses of Arctic water, soil and ice to changing climates, Smith has extensive personal and academic knowledge of these regions. He seems to have travelled all over the Arctic world, and here he offers a vivid portrayal of the physical, economic and cultural upheavals the whole Norc region is undergoing. He is as good on the developments in First Peoples' politics as he is on the practicalities of ice roads and natural gas trans-shipment. He documents his accounts very informatively and his footnotes are a treat: comprehensive and thoroughly interdisciplinary. (THES)
For a geographer whose career is dedicated to finding out how massive population growth, and depletion of mineral and water resources will transform the planet, Lawrence Smith comes across as a remarkably chirpy guy. Partly it's his engaging prose. Partly it's his quirky anecdotes of everyday life as a popular scientist: getting chatted up by an oceanographer on a Canadian ice breaker or, while interviewing Sami reindeer herders, falling for the Finnish interpreter he later married. (Evening Standard)
Rather than contribute yet another volume to the already bloated genre of Eskimo-Woe, [Smith] set out to construct a more three-dimensional overview of what the future might hold for the countries of the north - which, by his definition, means everything above the line of 45 degrees North. The result is a thoughtful, plausible and entirely unmelodramatic read. (Scotland on Sunday)
This is "an informed thought experiment" rather than a proper prediction. But for anyone curious about the new north-let alone anyone thinking of investing in Arctic derivatives-it is an intrinsic exercise. (Economist)
The essential backgrounder for the coming era in which temperate civilisation moves north into the previous frozen tundra and boreal forest. Smith marshals his material brilliantly. (Independent Books of the Year)
A book which literally turns the world upside down. The world in 2050 will be radically different from today; Northern countries - notably Canada, Russia and Scandinavia - will rise at the expense of southern ones. Patterns of human migration will change dramatically - and where we are born will more crucial than ever before. But humans are adaptable: there will be gains as a new world takes shape.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Professor Smith's writing style is really compelling: there's a huge amount of data in the book, but despite the academic rigour that's not overwhelming because he tells some great personal stories too (having travelled in the region for 15 months). Above all it's a book about humans, and how we adapt to the changing world. Although I wouldn't say that the book turns the world upside down (as the blurb says), it certainly gives you an entirely new perspective on a part of the world I knew little about.
One of the central thrusts of the book is that people, agriculture, and geopolitical power will migrate northward, largely in response to the impact of climate change and resource depletion. The populations of countries like Canada, Iceland and Norway are all projected to grow by over 20%, while global population will reach just over 9 billion. People will increasingly live in cities and will be older and wealthier.
As might be expected, water and energy are predicted to play vital roles. Smith offers a relatively optimistic take on potential conflicts over water, suggesting that they will be resolved peaceably, rather than degrading into war. Cities will win out over agriculture in the competition for water, and some regions will be maintained purely through global trade and the import of "virtual water" via grain. We will remain highly dependent on fossil fuels, but the energy economy will be more of a mix, with heavy use of natural gas and electric (or hybrid plug in) cars.
One of the most interesting sections covers "alternate endings" and considers issues such as a reversal of globalization, carbon release from the thawing tundra, or a well-developed global water trade.
My primary criticism of the book is its assumption (laid out clearly in the beginning), that technological advance will be "incremental.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book was not quite as described, having damage to the inside cover where something had been attached and then torn out - probably a library label, as there is still a barcode... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jack Norman-Curran
It was a present and apparently not a good one .... I therefore wouldn't recommend it.Published 17 months ago by Cori73
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... Read morePublished on 5 Jan. 2013 by Titus L
Smith shows great energy and enthusiasm tracking down the changes, statistics, trends and possibilities for both the South and the North. Read morePublished on 6 Nov. 2012 by Brian Griffith
A very enjoyable read that surprises you in it's ability to keep you turning that page. Very familiar American humour and story telling throughout. Read morePublished on 16 Jan. 2012 by MattyB101
The New North, (A)
The world in 2050
by Laurence C Smith
A review by the Cote d'Azur men's book group
A scientist who turns the world upside down... Read more
The future concerning the northern (large) part of the earth... Photographs, original
maps and tables says it all about climate change! Read more
Professor of geography Laurence C. Smith makes a fine oracle. His ambitious, candid and accessible book predicts what the world will be like in 2050. Read morePublished on 29 July 2011 by Rolf Dobelli
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