environment | July 24, 2013

Call To Action: Laurence C. Smith On The Economics Of Climate Change

The arctic is one of the last untapped frontiers on our planet. As environment speaker Laurence C. Smith predicts, the region is set to undergo some rapid and massive changes. The Arctic sea ice—which shrunk to its lowest levels on record last summer—previously made the chilly, northern landscape mostly unnavigable. However, warmer temperatures have made naval transport through the region more feasible, increasing both shipping opportunities and the ability to harness untapped oil and gas reserves.

While there is much to gain economically by opening up the Arctic region, there is also much at stake. A new article in Nature recently put forward a call-to-action to the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Arctic. They cite research from Smith's work on Arctic shipping from March 2013 to discuss the opportunities available and the consequences of these opportunities. The article advocates for more intensive modelling techniques to better prepare for what they estimate to be a $60 trillion global catastrophe if economical concerns associated with arctic transformation are not addressed.

Laurence C. Smith, who is a key member of the Council, is a leading expert on the Arctic and climate concerns. His book The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilizations Northern Future presents compelling evidence of the challenges—and opportunities—the world is set to encounter in the next several decades. He is the Professor and Chair of Geography and Professor of Earth & Space Sciences at UCLA and an in-demand speaker on how climate change will change our planet. And, how we can learn to adapt, and flourish, in the midst of these massive shifts.

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arts and pop culture | July 23, 2013