Cold Gold: Futurist Describes International Rush for Arctic Resources

June 15, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
BETHESDA MD:—Rising prices for natural resources will lead to a full-scale rush to develop the Arctic according to Lawson Brigham, a senior fellow of the Institute of the North. Not just oil and natural gas, but also the Arctic's supplies of nickel, copper, zinc, coal, freshwater, forests, and of course fish are highly coveted by the global economy. Whether the Arctic states tighten control over these commodities or find equitable and sustainable ways to share them will be a major political challenge in the decades ahead, says Brigham.

He will discuss the coming rush to develop this rapidly-changing terrain at WorldFuture 2009, the annual conference of the World Future Society.
"The Arctic Ocean could be temporarily ice-free during summer 2040…. These changes have profound consequences for the indigenous people, for all Arctic species and ecosystems, and for any anticipated economic development. The Arctic is also understood to be a large storehouse of yet-untapped natural resources, a situation that is changing rapidly as exploration and development accelerate in places like the Russian Arctic," Brigham wrote in the September 2007 cover feature for THE FUTURSIT magazine.

According to the BBC, Russia has already announced plans for an Arctic Resource Force and sees the Artic as its "main resource base" by 2020.

At WordFuture 2009, Brigham will lay out a number of scenarios for the future of the Arctic. He'll show how geographic evolution, climate change, resource and economic development coupled with geopolitical tensions will effect the region in the decades to come. He'll also discuss what these changes could mean for the rest of the planet.

WorldFuture 2009: Innovation and Creativity in a Complex World, the annual conference of the World Future Society will take place July 17-19, 2009 at the Hilton Chicago, Chicago, Illinois Professional Members' Forum: July 20, 2009.
Founded in 1966 as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in Washington, D.C., the World Future Society has members in more than eighty countries around the world. Individuals and groups from all nations are eligible to join the Society and participate in its programs and activities.

The Society holds a two-day, international conference once a year where participants discuss foresight techniques and global trends that are influencing the future. Previous conference attendees have included future U.S. President Gerald Ford (1974), Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1975), behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner (1984), age-wave expert Ken Dychtwald (2005), U.S. comptroller general David M. Walker (2006), and scientist and inventor Ray Kurzweil (2006).
This year's speakers include: Ambassador John W. McDonald, Robert D. Atkinson, former project director of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, labor expert John Challenger, longevity expert Michael Zey, bioweapons expert Barry Kellman, bestselling author of Grown Up Digital, Don Tapscott and bioethics expert Arthur Caplan.

More information and registration can be obtained from The World Future Society's Web site.
Patrick Tucker
World Future Society
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