The World in 2050

The World in 2050

Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780452297470
  • 336 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult


"The World in 2050 is a compelling portrait of the future and vividly relates the big challenges facing the world now."
-Jared Diamond, author of Collapse

The world’s population is exploding, wild species are vanishing, and our environment is degrading. What kind of world are we leaving for our children and grandchildren? Just who will flourish-and who will fail-in our evolving world?

Combining the lessons of geography and history with state-of-the-art model projections and analytical data, Guggenheim fellow Laurence C. Smith predicts how the eight nations of the Arctic Rim (including the United States) will become increasingly powerful while the nations around the equator struggle for survival. Like Bjorn Lomborg’s The Skeptical Environmentalist, The World in 2050 is as credible as it is controversial, projecting the looming benefits as well as the problems of climate change.


“[The World in 2050] is a lively and impressive book, among the first in what promises to be an important publishing category, the explication of how the human landscape will be altered by artificially triggered climate change.”
-Wall Street Journal

“Smith’s planetary palm-reading would be impressive enough, but he also managed 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

“Cleverly executed.”
-Mother Jones

“One of the most head-turning books I’ve ever come across recently.”
-Thomas PM Barnett, World Politics Review

“A charismatic rising star vividly relates the big challenges facing the world.”
-Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize winner Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse

“This is a blockbuster of clear argument, sophisticated use of multiple empirical sources, and cogent writing that makes a convincing case for the emergence of the deep Global North as the main beneficiary of emerging climatic and economic trends. Intelligently discussing the future requires exactly the balance of discerning empirical analysis and wise interpretive judgment to be found here.”
-John Agnew, Professor of Geography UC, Los Angeles
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