ARCS Of Progress – The Arctic World In 2050

Editorial note: This article was first published at Arctic Progress in February 2011. In the next few weeks I will be reposting the best material from there.

The Arctic to become a pole of global economic growth? Image credit – Scenic Reflections.

Behold! Far north along the shores of the Arctic a quiver of upspringing settlements fringes the coast. Boats swarm around canning factories, smoke flutters above smelters, herds of reindeer dot the prairies… And here or there, on every street-corner, glimmer out the lights of theaters where moving-pictures entertain white people through the sunless weeks of the midwinter dancing-time, the singing-time, the laughing-time of Eskimo Land.

- Northward ho!: An account of the far North and its people.

In 2003, Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill wrote the now famous paper Dreaming with BRIC’s, predicting that Brazil, Russia, India and China would overtake the developed G8 nations within a few decades and make astounding returns for faithful investors. The BRIC’s concept entered the conventional wisdom, spawning a host of related acronyms (BASICBRICSA, etc) – and if anything, realizing its promise well ahead of schedule. Last year, China’s real GDP possibly overtook America’s, and Russia’s approached Germany’s.

Yet for all their successes, the BRIC’s may not fulfill their expected roles as the stars of the global economy in the 21st century. The level of education is horrid in Brazil and atrocious in India; without the requisite human capital, these two countries will find it difficult to rapidly “converge” to developed world standards. China is much better off in this respect, but its high growth trajectory may in turn be disturbed by energy shortages and environmental degradation. China produces half the world’s coal, which is patently unsustainable given its limited reserves. But since coal accounts for 75% of China’s primary energy consumption and fuels the factories that keep its workforce employed, there is little it can do to mitigate this dependence. Meanwhile, China’s overpopulation, pollution and climate change predicament is so well known as to not require elaboration. Many other countries flirting around the edges of BRIC status – Indonesia, South Africa, Vietnam, etc. – face serious challenges in the form of low human capital, uncertain energy and food supplies and a rising incidence of AGW-induced droughts, floods and heatwaves.

There is one global region that may hold the key to resolving these intertwined problems – and even to become a major pole of global growth in its own right. For the most part, it is now an empty wilderness, but climate change is opening it up as potential living space. Its exploitation has the potential to halve the length of global freight transport routes while increasing their security, uncover sizable to gigantic new sources of hydrocarbons and minerals, and stabilize global food prices through the expansion of arable land. Its experience of management and conflict resolution may inspire a global model of cooperation – or it may degenerate into an economic, legal, or even military battlefield over shipping routes and sub-sea resources.

This global region is the Arctic Rim, and its adjoining ARCS: Alaska, Russia, Canada, and Scandinavia. The ARCS of Progress in the 21st century.

Arctic sea ice extent on September 1, 2010 – both the Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage are clearly open. Image credit – The University of Illinois Cryosphere Today.

From North Pole to Growth Pole

The core reasons behind the Arctic Rim’s bright prospects are global macro-trends: climate change; peak oil and resource nationalism; overpopulation in the South. These “push” and “pull” factors will induce a decades-long Arctic boom, starting with shipping, energy and mining, and culminating in a fundamental northwards shift of the center of the world economy. Let’s examine each of these in turn.

Breaking Ice For Shipping

Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a northwest passage to the sea.

- Northwest Passage song, Stan Rogers, 1981.

Typically, the cryosphere – the frozen part of the world – remains stable, because its snow and ice reflect much of the Sun’s heat, thus cooling itself. This process is called the ice-albedo feedback.

However, when the high-albedo ice melts, it leaves behind darker-hued earth, flora or sea that absorb far more heat. Local air temperatures soar and inhibit the reformation of the ice during cold seasons. From working to keep the system stable, beyond a critical threshold the ice-albedo feedback begins to reinforce a runaway dynamic of melting and warming.

The ice-albedo feedback largely explains why the Arctic is warming about twice faster than in the world as a whole.

In summer 2007, Arctic sea ice extent fell 38% below average since records began – an area the size of six Californias. The next year saw both the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route clear of ice for a short period in late summer. As of December 2010, sea ice extent was the lowest for the month on satellite record, even surpassing the 2007 melt.

While the relentless fall in sea ice extent over the past three decades is remarkable enough, what’s stunning is the 55% decline in summer sea ice volume. Once the thick, multi-year ice is gone, then it’s really gone – the low albedo of the ocean water will raise local temperatures, preventing all but a thin film of sea ice from reforming during the cold winters. It is thus a near certainty that Arctic sea ice is already deep in its death spiral.

Inland, earlier snowmelts enable the ground to absorb more heat, while dark-hued shrubs and boreal forests encroach on the tundra.

Many of the effects will be negative. The polar bears will probably go extinct, either drowning for lack of sea ice, or starving, or migrating south and merging with their grizzly cousins. Invasive species from the south will drive out Arctic flora and fauna off the top of the world. Global ocean and air currents will be interrupted as the temperature differential between the Arctic and the tropics shrinks.

But the new Arctic merchants will be making a killing.

Shipping routes during ice-free Arctic summer. Image credit – Laurence C. Smith.

In 2010, the Baltica became the first high-tonnage tanker to sail with petroleum products by the Northern Sea Route, steaming from Murmansk to China. This was followed by the voyage of the MV Nordic Barents, the the first vessel to sail from one non-Russian port to another through the Arctic, cutting 5,000km off the traditional Suez route. It carried 41,000 tons of iron ore from Kirkenes, Norway to feed the steel mills of China. One upping them all, the year ended with the first round-trip voyage without icebreaker assistance via the Northern Sea Route. The Norilsk Nickel-owned ship Monchegorsk carried the metal from the north Siberian port of Dudinka to Shanghai, taking just 41 days of steaming (the Suez route would have lasted as long as four months).

The opening of the Northern Sea Route and rising demand for metals and petroleum products from China and other emerging markets is set to continue spurring the development of Arctic shipping. In January 2011, a Sovcomflot executive said the Russian shipping company has already received 15 requests for icebreaker assistance in the Arctic for this year, compared to just four in 2010*. The governor of Murmansk, Dmitry Dmitriyenko, predicts that cargo transport through the Northern Sea Route will increase tenfold by 2020. This expansion will be sustained with private investment funding: both Sovcomflot and the Port of Murmansk are to be partially privatized in the coming years.

Similar trends are in play with the opening of the Northwest Passage across Canada. It has been conquered by cruise ship in 2006 and the commercial ship MV Camilla Desgagnés in 2008. Exploitation of the Northwest Passage will likely go slower than of its north Eurasian counterpart, because of lower demand and the (relative) underdevelopment of Canada’s icebreaker fleet. But there is still a wealth of opportunities there.

Black Gold or Fool’s Gold at the Top of the World?

Use it or lose it is the first principle of Arctic sovereignty.

- Speech by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, 2007.

Our first and main task is to turn the Arctic into a resource base for Russia in the 21st century.

- Speech by Russian President Medvedev in September 2008.

Global oil production has now either peaked or is close to peaking, and will now either continue on its present “undulating plateau” – or begin to decline at an accelerating pace. The specifics are intensely argued over and the debate is far too extensive to detail here. But suffice to say, the “cornucopian” position that technological ingenuity and market forces will always conjure more and more resources out of a finite planet is untenable.

Any number of factors – global production exceeding new discoveries since the mid-1980′s; the world’s inability to significantly ramp up oil production despite soaring prices for the commodity; the rising costs of oil production due to the falling EROEI of the remaining oil sources; massively inflated reserves numbers from OPEC members; growing resource nationalism – militate against a business-as-usual future of increasing production in the oil industry.

These mounting challenges are the reason the big oil majors are pushing into the deepwater drilling that produced the Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, and partnering with Russian state oil companies to develop offshore gas deposits in the Kara Sea, and sinking millions of US dollars on prospecting off Greenland despite no returns to date. They need to maintain their reserves numbers to prevent their stocks from tanking – but to do so, the oil majors are forced into taking escalating financial, environmental and political risks.

The Arctic’s natural resources. Image credit – Global Research.

In 2008, the US Geological Survey estimated that the Arctic may hold as much as 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil (90 billion barrels) and 30% of its undiscovered natural gas. Unsurprisingly, the Arctic is rapidly becoming central to oil exploration. That said, capitalizing on these resources – even assuming they are as big as estimated above – will be exceptionally difficult. For a start, some 84% of these sources are likely to be offshore. Second, according to more recent USGS calculations, developing them will be prohibitively expensive: “Assuming production costs of up to $100 per barrel, only 2.5 billion barrels of oil could be lifted… and only with a 50% probability.” For perspective, an average oil price of $92 per barrel broke the world economy in 2008.

Talk of the Arctic becoming the next Saudi Arabia is unrealistic. Its oil reserves are smaller, more dispersed, more remote, of worse quality, and far more challenging to exploit. But this isn’t to say that its black gold is fool’s gold. Technological progress on Arctic drilling, as well as a lack of better options elsewhere, will draw Western oil majors and National Oil Companies north.

The Arctic isn’t only of interest to shippers and oilmen. Confronted with inexorable rises in demand from China, the global mining industry is rushing to add metals and minerals production capacity wherever they can. Just to take a few Arctic examples, there are plans to start or expand iron ore production on Canada’s Baffin Island, Norway’s Kirkenes and the Kola Peninsula. Coal production is resuming at Svalbard. Just in case the whole oil thing doesn’t work out, Greenland is looking to exploit its potentially vast mineral resources. The Coeur d`Alene Mines Corporation recently opened a gold mine near Juneau, Alaska ahead of schedule. Though volumes remain small, this will change as depletion becomes as evident for minerals as it is now for oil.

Towards an Arctic Civilization?

… Before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.

James Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia hypothesis.

Beginning with the shipping and energy industries, the influence of the Arctic will eventually come to encompass the entire world. Assuming that efforts to quickly cut greenhouse gas emissions are unsuccessful, and that geoengineering is either not attempted or doesn’t work, then many of the middle regions will become too hot and dry for sustained agriculture (and maybe human survival), and masses of climate refugees will try to migrate north. The center of global economic growth, politics, and perhaps – in the far future – population, will come to rest within the Arctic Circle.

The North Pole may become the spatial center of the world. Image source – Trausti Valsson.

This process will likely be accompanied by mass upheavals, societal collapses, famines, border conflicts, maybe even bigger wars. But as usual misery contains the seeds of opportunity. It is not impossible that the farsighted individuals who are now buying up Hudson Bay territories or Siberian riverside lands are positioning themselves or their heirs for lordships and kingdoms in 2200.

But let’s focus on just the next three decades. The opening of the Arctic by various “push” factors (overpopulation, global warming) and “pull” factors (shipping routes, resources) will create demand for infrastructure, housing, associated services, etc. Buying up strategic lands, routes and infrastructure in the Arctic region offers one of the best, and most overlooked, rates of return in the world today. Take inspiration from OmniTRAX, a Colorado-based company that bought the derelict Port of Churchill and its railway from the Manitoba government for a bargain basement price of $10 in 1998. Now that Hudson Bay has become clear of sea ice during the summer, these assets are receiving tens of millions of dollars of investment from the Canadian government.

How can you benefit from the coming Arctic boom? In the coming years, Russia is going to partially privatize lucrative state assets, such as shipping company Sovcomflot and the Port of Murmansk (which handles 60% of shipping across the Northern Sea Route). New ports, roads, railways, pipelines, mines, dams, oil and gas fields, aluminium smelters, LNG plants, etc. are springing up over the entire region.

Enter the ARCS of Progress: Why Alaska, Russia, Canada, and Scandinavia are Positioned to Dominate the Polar-Centric World

Идут на Север срока огромные,
Кого ни спросишь – у всех указ…
Взгляни, взгляни
В глаза мои суровые,
Взгляни, быть может, в последний раз.

- Soviet GULAG song, 1947.

O Canada!

Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

- National Anthem of Canada.

Watching the economic news these days is a sure path route to depression. Anywhere you seem to look in the developed world there are awning budget deficits, soaring debts, depressed output, and stagnation. We’ve established that putting your money into the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) isn’t such a good idea. But the US is the “safe haven,” right? Unfortunately, its fiscal sustainability indicators are actually worse than the PIGS average. In 2009, the US got $0.6 in tax revenue for every $1 of outlays, or a receipt-to-outlay ratio of 0.6; the equivalent ratio for the PIGS was 0.78. Maybe Japan? With a 0.52 receipt-to-outlay ratio, it makes the US look like a paragon of fiscal discipline.

But within all that mess there’s a few, sparkling gems. Not only are they at the heart of the opening Arctic, but they are all excellent investment destinations on their own merits. They are the ARCS countries: Alaska, Russia, Canada, and Scandinavia.

Alaska

In contrast to the rest of the US, Alaska was barely dented by the economic crisis, its GDP declining by just 0.3% in 2009 and recovering 0.6% in 2010. Employment is lower than the US average. While states like California and Illinois flirt with state bankruptcy, Alaska has accumulated $40 billion in its Permanent Fund. Finally, it is – along with Greenland – the most demographically vigorous of the Arctic states, with a total fertility rate of 2.32 children per woman in 2006. It won’t be afflicted by the First World’s looming aging crises any time soon. Alaska is well set to fulfill its motto: “North to the Future!”

Russia

Though the poorest of the ARCS, Russia is also its fastest growing one, with 5% annual GDP growth during 2001-2010. Its high level of human capital (around 70% of Russians continue to higher education, a First World rate), vast resource wealth and decent macroeconomic management set it on a promising path to convergence with developed countries.

Additionally, Russia has a predominant population, economic and military presence in the Arctic. The Murmansk region by itself has more people than all of Alaska, while the Russian Northern Fleet is by far the strongest Arctic force. State policy is to transform the Arctic into Russia’s “strategic resource base” within the next decade.

Criticisms of Russia’s prospects typically center on allusions to its “Zaire with permafrost”-like corruption levels, plummeting population, crumbling infrastructure, “legal nihilism” and Putinist authoritarianism. While each of these has a grain of truth, taking them as gospel fundamentally misrepresents the country. For a start, if Russia really was more corrupt than Nigeria or Zimbabwe – as implied by Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index – then it would still be deep in debt as in the late 1990′s, and its $480 billion foreign currency reserves would be in Cayman Islands accounts instead of the Central Bank’s vaults.

What about Russia’s demographic “death spiral”? A quick glance at Rosstat will show that its population grew in 2009, and that its total fertility rate, at 1.6 children per woman, is now higher than the European average.

One can spend pages upon pages unraveling the double standards, misrepresentations and outright lies which the Western media and political class use to attack Russia. But if you’re unconvinced, and refuse to buy into Russia’s undervalued market on principle, it’s your loss.

As the professional Russia investor Eric Kraus wrote in Business Week in July 2010, “Russian markets are fashion victims, and are currently both unfashionable and cheap. You can own them now, or wait and buy the next time they surge back into vogue. And I will be selling out just about then.” I’d trust him – that’s exactly what he did in 2008!

Canada

Canada combines the American spirit of free enterprise, with a greater safety net and social mobility. It is also on far better fiscal footing. In 2010, its cyclically adjusted primary budget deficit was -2.7% of GDP (US: -7.0%), and its net debt was 32.7% of GDP (US: 65.2%; Japan: 104.6%). Possessing huge energy, mineral and freshwater reserves, as well as a well-educated and growing population, it is surely one of the better investment bets in the developed world.

Scandinavia (and Nordic)

The Nordic region is one of the richest, most educated and socially cohesive on Earth, frequently coming at or near the top in any global index of freedom, social mobility, environmental sustainability, and technological modernity.

In 2010, Sweden’s GDP grew the fastest in Europe at a blistering 5.2%, while maintaining a balanced budget throughout the crisis. Norway’s fortunes are far more directly tied to its oil industry, but peak oil, excellent state management of reserves and a low population make for bright prospects. Norway is the second richest European country after the banking center of Luxembourg.

Even apparent basketcases like Iceland may be a good investment to buy up on the cheap. While its international banking career might be over, it still has massive freshwater and geothermal energy reserves, that make it an attractive center for energy-intensive industries such as aluminium smelters.

Finally, contrary to right-wing depictions of social democracies as retirement homes full of effete, aging liberals, all the Nordic states have fertility rates that preclude major aging crises (they range from 1.8 children per woman in Finland to 2.2 in Greenland).

The Arctic when all the ice melts.

From an Ultimate Dim Thule…

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named Night,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule —
From a wild weird clime, that lieth, sublime,
Out of Space — out of Time.

- Dreamland by Edgar Allen Poe.

Even in our day, science suspects beyond the Polar seas, at the very circle of the Arctic Pole, the existence of a sea which never freezes and a continent which is ever green.

- The mystic H. P. Blavatsky.

Before the rise of the world economy, spatial perspectives were local, at most extending to the boundaries of their cultural sphere or world-empire: The Ecumene for the Ancient Greeks and Romans; Dar al-Islam for the Muslims; Christendom for the Franks; the Great Wall for the Chinese. Medieval European geographers referred to any lands beyond the borders of the known world as Ultima Thule.

Globalization from the 19th century bound the entire world together, for the first time in history, but its flows and links of labor, capital and commodities passed the Arctic by. Unattractive to sustained private investment, the region’s development was always fitful and unbalanced, from the Yukon Gold Rush that petered out almost as suddenly as it flared up; to the penal camps, subsidized settlements and military bases of the Soviet Arctic, now decaying away except where hydrocarbons extraction has thrown them a lifeline.

But now the world is changing. No longer will opening the Arctic have to be a hubristic project, as with the chiliastic visions of Soviet planners; or a costly and unprofitable strategic necessity, as with the Cold War submarine patrols beneath the Arctic sea ice or the bomber flights over it. Today, it is global macro-trends such as global warming, resource depletion and overpopulation that will ensure the rapid but organic development of the Arctic.

With the growing human presence, the Arctic will inevitably begin to lose its luster of mysticism, foreboding and darkness. As the years turn into decades, and 2050 approaches, the polar-centric view of the world will become increasingly central to human spatial consciousness. The world’s trade, energy and capital flows will have been largely rerouted north.

The ARCS of Progress, their numbers swelled by climate refugees, and their economies bolstered by a flood of capital investment, will be amongst the leading Powers in the world. This assumes they retain their present political configurations. For instance, could an independent Greenland, with just 56,000 people today, retain its own national identity? Facing resource shortages and droughts in the south, would China encroach on the Russian Far East? Would the US try to assimilate Canada?

Whatever the answers to these questions, one thing is near certain. The vision of a northern Ultima Thule is dissipating, and will soon dissolve altogether (thought teh concept may be resurrected to describe a desolate, uninhabitable South many hundreds of years into an extreme AGW future). In its place there will emerge a polar world-economy of open seas, farms and growing cities by 2050.

There will arise an Arctic ecumene.

* According to more recent data, there were 34 transits of the Northern Sea Route in 2011, up from just 4 in 2010; with 820,000 tons of goods transported relative to 111,000 tons in 2010. Volumes are predicted to double again this year. This goes in tandem with record breaking sea ice melt in 2012.

Edit Jan 28, 2013: There were a record-breaking 46 vessels making the transit through the NSR this year.

Comments

  1. Sounds interesting but the key is keeping out third world refugees/immigrants.

    • I don’t think that will be peaceful. The ARCS I expect will become something resembling caste societies by the 22nd century.

  2. First Chinese ship makes trip to Atlantic via Arctic route
    AFP Aug 17, 2012, 05.29PM IST

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-08-17/news/33249671_1_northern-sea-route-ship-arctic

    REYKJAVIK: The first Chinese ship has travelled from the Pacific to Atlantic via the Arctic along the Russian coast, an Icelandic scientist who participated on the expedition said Friday.

    The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, docked in Iceland after having sailed the so-called Northern Sea Route from the Pacific, Egill Thor Nielsson told AFP.

    “This is the first Chinese ship to sail this route and of course it is important because it’s a more than 40 percent shorter route to Europe,” he said.

    The Chinese are even more interested in this route after having found the passage relatively easy.

    “It took almost ten days to sail from the East Siberian Sea and through the Barents Sea, and during that time there was real pack ice for only seven days,” he said.

    Climate change is opening the prospect of commercial shipping via the Northern Sea Route or the Northwest Passage north of Canada.

    More and more ships are travelling via the Northern Sea Route. Four made the passage in 2010, 34 last year and the figure will be higher this year, said Nielsson.

    The Snow Dragon, bought from Ukraine in 1993, is currently China’s only ice breaker. A second being built in China with the help of a Finnish company, should be completed in 2014.

  3. Mark Sleboda says:

    Hey have you read Lawrence Smith – he stole the march on the Arctic World paradigm anacronym on you, I think with NORCS (2010). Though ARCS certainly has a nicer ring to it :)

    http://www.amazon.com/The-World-2050-Civilizations-Northern/dp/0525951814

    http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/geog/downloads/297/396.pdf

    • I’ve read Smith’s book though after I wrote this article. I will write a review someday.

      But thanks for supporting ARCS over NORCs. :)

  4. Georgia Resident says:

    How much of the (relatively) high fertility of the Nordic countries is currently due to fast-breeding, low-IQ refugees? I think that the flood of third-world immigrants moving into the ARCS countries, with the promise of more to come as the climate shifts, would doom those countries to a dark future. I certainly wouldn’t want to buy land in any country likely to become a haven for third-worlders, with rising inequality and an underemployed lower class positioned to result in social upheaval.

    • Nordic people have a high fertility rate due to their cohabitation ways.
      The share of migrants is even to low to have that much of an influence.
      The fast breeders are almost extinct. No migrant group still has 10+ kids. 4 is about maximum, especially in a car centric society as Scandinavia. Low IQ immigrants? I know the type In the 1920’s it was Jews and Italians. They are still obviously dumber than Rednecks.
      Land is valuable because of population pressure. No people no value.

      ps. Which of the low IQ place is it. Georgia USA or Georgia USSR

      • Georgia Resident says:

        1. “Nordic people have a high fertility rate due to their cohabitation ways.
        The share of migrants is even to low to have that much of an influence.
        The fast breeders are almost extinct. No migrant group still has 10+ kids. 4 is about maximum, especially in a car centric society as Scandinavia.”
        Source? Links strongly preferred.

        2. “Low IQ immigrants? I know the type In the 1920′s it was Jews and Italians.”
        Yeah, and immigrants to the US at the time were mostly from Europe. Therefore that must mean most immigrants to the US today are from Europe! *Sarcasm* However, if we assume that employment correlates with group IQ, this source would suggest that on average immigrants to Sweden, at least, have a little less on the ball than the average native:
        http://www.thelocal.se/37584/20111126/
        It’s not conclusive, of course, but it does make one wonder.

        and
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sweden#Ethnicity

        “The fastest growing groups of foreign-born residents in Sweden between 2010 and 2011 were the following nationalities:
        Iraq (+ 3738)
        Afghanistan (+ 3069)
        Poland (+ 2612)
        Somalia (+ 2319)
        Thailand (+ 2235)
        Iran (+ 1708))
        Eritrea (+ 1693)
        China (+ 1659)
        Syria (+ 1599)
        Turkey (+ 1382)”

        With the exceptions of Poland and Thailand, which are both decent on IQ, and China, which scores quite well, these are not ethnicities known for their overwhelming intellectual process, at least not of late. And my point was to also take into consideration future immigration of refugees of the environmental cataclysm Anatoly was predicting. Since this would overwhelmingly be from more equatorial regions, which tend to produce a lot of the low IQ populations, it stands to reason that many of these future migrants would be lower than the average Scandinavian in IQ.

        3. “They are still obviously dumber than Rednecks.
        No need to be rude.

        4. “Land is valuable because of population pressure. No people no value.”
        I understand that. My point was that if inequality grows to such an extent that social upheaval occurs and property rights break down, having legal title to land is worthless. Read carefully before making condescending remarks.

        • 1. There is something called maths. It allows you to calculated for example how high the birthrate needs to be for a 10% minority to pull up the average birthrate from 1.5 to 1.8. That would be 4.5. Problem is those groups are way less than 10% and maximum normal family size of those groups were 5/6 20 years ago, now less.

          2 I used Eastern European Jews and Italians because when they landed they were considered dumber than average. If i would now make a joke about how Italian Americans as dumb than people would look funny at me and not because it would be racist. Doing it with Jews and i would be considered an idiot

          Iraq Upper class + Christians
          Afghanistan Upper class
          Poland Hicks
          Somalia Serious Upper class
          Thailand Some Southerners but mostly North East (not good)
          Iran Upper class
          Eritrea Upper class
          China probably the normal Chinese emigrant.
          Syria Christians
          Turkey Anatolian and Kurdish Hicks

          I would go for the upper class

          3. So it is Georgia USA

          4. There has to an incredible amount of upheaval for property rights to seriously break down. But there is a problem with minorities, like for example the Turkish, that will be significantly richer than the average Norwegian.

        • Re-rednecks. Actually the IQ of US rednecks is something like 95 (that’s about what Whites score in the lowest performing state, West Virginia).

          That’s still higher than most of the world.

          Re-And my point was to also take into consideration future immigration of refugees of the environmental cataclysm Anatoly was predicting. Since this would overwhelmingly be from more equatorial regions, which tend to produce a lot of the low IQ populations, it stands to reason that many of these future migrants would be lower than the average Scandinavian in IQ.

          Exactly. If anything refugee flows will be picking up in the decades ahead. I expect that by the end of the century countries like Sweden, Canada, and Russia will have become something resembling caste societies. I think there will be incredible pressure on the part of the indigenous population to avoid giving the newcomers formal citizenship.

          Re-Somalia Serious Upper class. Doesn’t fly with me. Somalis have the highest unemployment rate of any ethnic group in the UK.

          Re-Poland Hicks. Nope – the average Pole in the UK is better educated that the average Pole at home.

          • If you mean with rest of the world Africa and India than yes, Rednecks are smarter than average.

            Unlikely, Caste societies can only develop if groups don’t interbreed. That is why the US has a Caste society between whites and blacks but not between Wasps and low IQ emigrants like Italians, Greeks and Eastern European Jews.

            The only Somalis you see here could afford to get here, That requires serious money, especially in such a poor country. I would even argue that their high unemployment is due to being upper class

            The average pole is also much younger than the average Pole back home. Add in a minority of elite Poles and you get on average better educated. Besides it is not like the bottom 10% is hicks. They all are.

      • The critical point about societies like Sweden or the UK isn’t even so much the higher but still modest fertility rates of the incomers (in tandem with their younger ages) but that many of them continue to come in while ethnic Brits and Swedes emigrate in large numbers.

        This is resulting in surprisingly fact population replacement in those areas.

        I know the type In the 1920′s it was Jews and Italians.

        Actually the “Jews” but of that is something of an urban legend. Will have a post on that someday.

    • Jennifer Hor says:

      I believe that people in Scandinavia and Finland enjoy quite generous social benefits that include maternity and paternity leave. Social welfare and family policies that encourage high female work participation, gender equality and family support translate into a high fertility rate.
      http://www.nikk.no/Gender+Equality+and+Fertility.9UFRzO43.ips

      The lowest fertility rates in First World countries (Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain) are often associated with social policies that present women with either/or options (they can work and stay single OR they can marry / have children and drop out of work BUT they can’t work and marry / have children) and which reflect strong conservative religious or social attitudes in those countries.
      http://www.ipss.go.jp/webj-ad/webjournal.files/population/2008_4/01billari.pdf

      BTW fertility rates in Muslim countries have been falling though the media hardly talks about this. Iran carried out a family planning education program in the 1980s/90s and that country is now regarded as a model of how family planning education should be done as fertility rates have crashed there.
      http://www.lifenews.com/2012/07/05/underpopulation-muslim-world-faces-devastating-fertility-decline/

    • I certainly wouldn’t want to buy land in any country likely to become a haven for third-worlders…

      Why not? More people –> Sky-rocketing property prices. It’s good to get in early. :)

  5. “China encroach on the Russian Far East?”

    South pole instead. Antarctica as a colony for Chinese?

    • South Pole landmass is mostly under water. Removal of Ice would lift it but that takes millennia. But even the melting of the ice would take decades. But AK is wrong on South Africa and Southern South America

    • Antarctic ice will take centuries to melt, even under the most apocalyptic scenarios.

      But by 3000 AD who knows?

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