Laurence Smith

Professor and Chair, Department of Geography

He gives the cold hard facts about climate change.

It’s 2050 and you want to go on vacation. What better place than the Arctic, “a frigid version of Nevada–an empty landscape dotted with gleaming boom towns.” That’s the future envisioned by Laurence Smith, an ardent proponent of what he calls “personalized science” who literally lives his research. Smith traveled throughout the Northern Rim for his provocative book “The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future,” in which he contends that climate change will make the northern quarter of the planet more pleasant, prosperous, stable and powerful than it is today. Smith serves on steering committees for NASA, the World Economic Forum and the National Research Council.

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Laurence Smith

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