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Laurence C. Smith is professor and vice-chairman of geography and professor of earth and space sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has published more than fifty research papers, in journals such as Science and Nature and in 2006 he briefed Congress on the likely impacts of northern climate change.His work has been covered in the LA Times, National Geographic, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Time Magazine and NPR among others.
March 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. There are many predictions on the likely future for the earth, the outcome of global warming, the political upheaval and so on. Here Smith predicts that there will be a Northern shift in emphasis and the Northern rim countries from Canada to Russia (with the UK on the fringe) will become increasingly important in the future. The author puts flesh on the bones of his theories from his own extensive travels in the region. This gives the book a deeper range adding personal observations to the hypothesis. So much writing on the future planet scenario makes for grim reading and while Smith doesn’t pull his punches, there is the human story, people trying to adapt to a very different future, paving a way for the new North. The Magnetic North: Travels in the Arctic Circle, Sara WheelerTrue North: Travels in Arctic Europe, Gavin Franci The Lovereading view... Explores the 'four locomotives' that are changing the world - climate change, rising population, globalisation and resource depletion - and attempts to predict how they will shape the world between now and 2050. This book is about people, and the 'push' and 'pull' factors that determine where and how they live.
A sweeping natural history of rivers as engines of civilization 'As fascinating as it is beautifully written' JARED DIAMOND, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs and Steel Rivers have opened frontiers, defined borders, supported trade, generated energy and fed billions. Most of our greatest cities stand on river banks or deltas, and our quest for mastery has spurred staggering advances in engineering, science and law. Rivers and their topographic divides have shaped the territories of nations and the migration of peoples, and yet - as their resources become ever more precious - can foster cooperation even among enemy states. And even as they become increasingly domesticated, they remain a formidable global force: these vast arterial powers promote life but are capable of destroying everything in their path. From ancient Egypt to the space age to our growing contemporary metropolises, Rivers of Power reveals why rivers matter so profoundly to human civilization, and how they continue to be indispensable to our societies and wellbeing. 'Takes readers on a tour of the world's great rivers - past, present and future. The result is fascinating, eye-opening, sometimes alarming, and ultimately inspiring' Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction