The Future History of the ArcticThe north has captured the public imagination for generations. Stories of the search for the North Pole, the Northwest Passage and a land of everlasting ice are nearly the stuff of myths. Regardless of deniers, the Arctic is changing because of changing climatic conditions and ready access to the region increases annually. The future history of the arctic is an issue important its resident and the country alike.

Charles Emmerson explores what might happen in the north of the future. We know that with access will come increased oil production, exploration for other minerals and frequent crossings by commercial vessels transiting the Northwest Passage from Asia to Europe. Emmerson explores the history of the Arctic and relates it the future. Readers without this knowledge base are destined to view the north through the lens of its mythology.

The Future History of the Arctic is broken into a series of four thematic areas of discussion; the topics cover power, nature, riches and freedom. Emmerson’s narrative seeks to tell the stories of Arctic peoples; the Russians, Inuit, Norwegians and Canadian. Even the United States is part of account, with a population that often fails to realize the country is an Arctic power through its holdings in Alaska.

The text represents an essential primer on the geopolitics of the north. As Emmerson says, “Our ideas of the Arctic – permanent, pristine, unchanging – will persist long after they have been overtaken by Arctic change. But slowly, bit by bit, our ideas of the Arctic will have to adapt. As they do, a little bit our sense of earthly eternity will be lost forever.”

The Future History of the Arctic (ISBN 978-1-58648-636-5) is a hard cover book published by PublicAffairs, an imprint of the Perseus Books Group. The 448 page text has a suggest retail price of $28.95 (Currently $10.79 at Amazon).

Copyright © 2013 by Alan Sorum

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