Yale University economics and environment professor Robert Mendelsohn lists a number of gains that Canada could expect from a 50- to 100-year shift to a generally warmer and wetter climate.So agriculture -- 2% of our GDP, huzzah! -- will benefit. That will be useful, because demand for food in the US, China, and India will skyrocket as crops fail. So we'll be better off, unless of course the Americans decide on a non-market based solution to the problem of high food prices. Or, if a global recession causes demand for industry (29% of GDP) to decline by 10%, we'll definitely see a net loss.
Among them would be the ability to grow fruit and vegetables in areas that now are useful only for grain, and the opening of iced-over Arctic waters to navigation and other commercial uses.
"Canadians will clearly be better off in the future than they are today. I can say that with confidence," he predicted. "The most dramatic gains could be in agriculture, depending on precipitation."
But the whole thing is kind of perverse: how, exactly, are Canadians better off if everyone else in the world is worse off, save Russia and maybe the Baltic states? Canada doesn't live in a vacuum, and if tens of millions of people are starving to death, it seems awfully inhumane to say "whee, my grain futures have paid double!"