Laurence C. Smith: The Changing Arctic Brings New Threats & Opportunities
"The rapid physical and economic forces now transforming the Arctic thus offer a range of threats and opportunities both for the region and the world," he writes, "requiring collective expertise in economics, resource development, transportation and geopolitics as well as climate science." The research done by Smith and his peers will help address both the threats—and opportunities—head on. Smith, the Vice-Chair of Geography at UCLA, has been involved in similar types of consulting in the past. In 2006 he briefed Congress on the possible effects of climate change, and in 2007 he contributed to a report on the same issue for the United Nations. Both his writing and his research seek to understand how the world will look in the future—environmentally, politically, and economically. In his eye-opening keynotes, he presents a balanced and politically-neutral account of his findings—allowing us to plan for the future so that we may benefit, rather than suffer, from the changes that lay ahead.