Review copy received: The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future, by Laurence C. Smith. The thesis evidently involves global warming making the Arctic more important in geopolitics. Interestingly, I recently saw Robert Kaplan on Fareed Zakaria's excellent new show GPS, discussing his book Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power (of which I've also requested a review copy) and making a case that Russia willl be a lesser power than China because the latter has a long warm-water coastline and the former is stuck up there in the Arctic. They can't both be right.
UPDATE 9/20: Actually, the Smith book suggests that China eventually might buy -- or even just take -- thinly populated sections of Russia for itself, so maybe the two books are not so contradictory. Monsoon publisher, am still waiting for my review copy.