Duty Now For The Future

Criswell rest of our livesI direct your attention to this fascinating article in the Washington Post:Six maps that will make you rethink the world

It’s derived from a new book by Parag Khanna called Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization.

It’s a glimpse into the world of the latter part of the 21st century, 2050CE+ or thenabouts.

If you are a climate change denialist, this is your cue to go visit a porn site.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff here, but I’ll let the article speak for itself.

I will say this for North American readers based on his predictions (and these are my take aways from the article, Khanna does not necessarily address all these particulars):

  1. While a political entity called The United States Of America may exist half a century from now, it will not be the geopolitical powerhouse it is today. [1]
  2. Much of the US and Mexican / Central American populations will be disrupted by climate change and move north, many crossing the border and heading on into Canada.
  3. Canada and Russia will become the breadbasket of the world.
  4. Denmark, which thanks to its claims on Greenland will be reveling in vast untapped natural resources as its glaciers melt, is gonna be fnckin’ RICH!
  5. The new global trade routes will be located through the Arctic region, which will be ice free for most of the year; life there will be bracing but not impossible.
  6. Those US citizens remaining in America will be working in thermal / solar energy jobs or supporting same; agriculture in the South and Southwest will quite literally dry up. The great Dust Bowl Migration of the Depression will be dwarfed by the population shift northward. [2]

The article focuses on the-glass-is-half-full side of the equation, and as the old saw goes, it’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.

As noted, Canada and Russia will benefit from global warming, exporting food to the rest of the world. Trade routes will flourish through the Arctic, avoiding high tension choke points we have today.

But those blessings are only the heads side of the coin; there’s a tails side, too.

Solar energy will be a huge industry, but only because climate change is going to turns vast swaths of the planet into deserts.

The southern hemisphere is going to take a huge economic hit but will probably muddle through.

China is going to spend half its time in partnership with Africa, developing and exploiting the resources of that vast continent. It will be for them what the American West was for the United States, and if they learn from our mistakes and treat the Africans with more respect and dignity than we did our native peoples, they will be a dominant force in the world for many centuries to come.

A new Chinese-African ethnic group will emerge.

The other half of its time, China will probably be involved in a never ending series of slugfests with India.

As lowland areas of Pakistan and Bangladesh are flooded by melting Himalayan glaciers and rising sea levels, tens of millions of people will be on the move, disrupting and crowding India and Southeast Asia even more.

They’ve got to go somewhere and China is the closest spot available.

What’s left culturally of the United States will be found along the northern border we share with Canada. [3]

Southern US culture will vanish, the last shreds of the old Confederacy finally drying up and blowing away in the northward migration. [4]

The agricultural base of the American South, Midwest, and Southwest will cease to exist and be replaced by a solar energy based culture -- and probably one funded by China, who will have no patience for archaic American ethnic BS.

Among the first generation of emigrants north -- and if historical models hold true, skipping a generation to the third and fourth generations in the new land -- there will be a great nostalgic look back at a mostly imaginary America. Americana -- which will either whitewash or romanticize the historical struggles of the United States and the people in it -- will be a hugely popular genre. [5]

While there will be a great temptation to blame these changes on this party‘s or that party’s political intransigence, the truth is this will be larger than politics.

Politics is going to be like a monkey dancing on the back of a whale: It may do it well, and it may do it successfully enough to ride the whale for a long, long time, but the whale is moving of its own accord and nothing the monkey can do will change it.




[1] Think it can’t happen that fast? Ask the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czarist Russia, and the Ottomans how long it took them.

[2] Canada would be well advised to prepare for this huge influx of climate refugees from both the US and Mexico. There will be plenty of agricultural jobs for them to fill, but if Canada isn’t ready for them, they will disrupt Canadian culture and society. My advice is to tell them to drop their old attitudes and allegiances at the border and become good Canucks, eh. That’s going to require a lot of re-education.

[3] It’s not impossible at some future point, perhaps in the 22nd century but maybe even sooner, Canada will absorb the US.

[4] They won’t be the only ones. West Coast culture and Gulf Coast culture will also evaporate under the relentless glare of the sun. Enjoy ‘em while you can, folks.

[5] It will be coexisting with newer genres born out of the coming great migration, and probably never as the dominant genre, but it will be there.


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