Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How the world will change (part two)

Part I is here.
From ChinaDialogue:

Does humanity’s future lie in a “semi-global” north? Arctic and sub-Arctic regions will become a magnet for migration, argues Trausti Valsson in the second excerpt from his book How the World Will Change With Global Warming.

The current warming of the globe means that various weather patterns will change in the next few decades, but past changes can inform us about the possibilities of what this will mean.

Changes in weather patterns lead to changes in the patterns of the natural world, as well as changes in the patterns of human habitation – on a local as well as on a global scale. […]

The form and the topology of the space in which people live greatly influence physical functions and activities as well as social systems and people’s perceptions, not only of the space in which they operate but also of themselves. As we start to study the centre line of the ribbon of habitation, we discover that its central location has many advantages in terms of physical functions, for instance in terms of transportation, because it is located at the heart of the settlement area. The outer borders of the ribbon, the periphery, on the other hand, are obviously spatially disadvantaged.

The form of the ribbon also translates into something similar in terms of social functions and human perception; the areas at the centre of the ribbon are of greatest social importance, in terms of the global community, with people out on the periphery perceived by the people in the middle as inferior and uninteresting. […]

Before we start to review the characteristics of the spatial system of a global world – which has already started to evolve with the activation of the Arctic – it is important to examine the characteristics of these two contrastive systems, the ribbon world and the global world, in such a way that their nature and their consequences, in terms of how areas and people operate here on Earth, can be compared and understood in the best possible way.

In addition to the present studies of geometric characteristics of world views, the shift from today’s world of two “islands” -- the Americas and Eurasia -- and the future world that is characterised by a circular form of a landmass that surrounds the future “Middle-of-the-World Ocean”, the Arctic Ocean, should be mentioned. […]

A profound understanding of the two spatial global systems is absolutely essential for being able to understand what consequences the gradual shift from a ribbon world to a global world is going to mean in terms of how the world society is going to function within the emerging new spatial system of a global world....MORE