I suppose it's a good thing to have read the article I'm about to discuss, although it made me sick to my stomach and altogether a little too willing to eat one too many cookies.
In the article, The Race to Own the Arctic, by Bob Reiss, I learned that there are some seriously sweet benefits to the melting of the Arctic polar ice. Now, first let me back up and state the obvious. Overall global temperature rises have increased the melting of the polar ice. This shouldn't be a surprise to any of you. The melting ice is shrinking the habitat for polar bears, rising sea levels will be disastrous for Native hunting grounds and, as the tundra in northern areas thaws, thousands of acres of land will literally melt below people's feet.
But, there's good news! There's always good news when it comes to American consumerism! There are oil and natural gas deposits in an Arctic undersea territory that is 20 times larger than Kuwait. Since we don't have to worry about that pesky ice getting in the way anymore, drilling options are opening up, ensuring that we'll have another 25% of the Earth's oil and gas reserves at our fingertips.
"Economic, scientific, and conservation opportunities in the Arctic are fabulous," claims James Connaughton, President Bush's top energy adviser. And, who better to lead us down the path to oil righteousness than him?
But, that's not all! Having no ice up topside means we have a whole new shipping lane available to ship those cheap Chinese goods to Europe without having to chug those extra 4,000 miles. Plus, with oil being extra cheap, it's a win-win situation.
"What's more, the Northwest Passage - the legendary sea route that threads through Canada's northern islands and links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans - was open last summer."
Think of all those extra luxury cruise routes that will be available, too! Scientists believe that the passage will be permanently ice-free in the summers starting between 2013 and 2040. Lucky Dutch Harbor, AK (if they aren't waist deep in pudding), will benefit from a significant tonnage of world shipping sailing past their port. Such an opportunity for profits!
Phew! Thank goodness that last year's summer Arctic ice cap was half the size it was 50 years ago, otherwise we may actually need to slow down our spending and usage of gas guzzling behemoth vehicles!
I'm so excited I'm gonna go start drinking shots of straight crude oil in celebration. No more freezing my buns off, I'm cranking up the heat right now!