Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hooray! The polar ice caps are melting!

On a three hour tour...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!


Anonymous said...

Oh dear lord. What are some people thinking ?! This is just what we need - more oil to keep the petroleum behemoths going and encourage them to continue to squash any new sustainable developments in the transport and energy industries. And yay for supporting the sweatshop industry in China! *shakes head*

Lee said...

This is absolutely BRILLIANT! Think of the tourism opportunities!

Richard Branson must be rubbing his hands with glee right about now. He'll save heaps on all that biofuels development stuff, and with all the food not being converted to tank up our SUVs, we might even be able to convince a few not-so-starving (any more) people to do a few cut-price arctic holidays to see the polar bears.

Oh wait? No polar bears? Maybe we can shove some plastic ones in, and they can view from a distance. They'll be none the wiser :-)

United Studies said...

Yeah, I read that article, and another on the same topic, and I was is this a good thing???

Anonymous said...

Wow. Talk about shining a turd.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh this morning!!

I also heard that they're looking for oil on Mars on the news the other day. Sad, huh?

Chile said...

Yes, I was sooo relieved reading that article, too. Nothing to worry about. All those sleepless nights wasted.

Daharja's got a good point, too. Tourism to the arctic is big bidness. Mix in a little "see what's it's like to work on a deep sea oil rig" and there are oodles of money to be made! Hell, let's send all those unemployed people out there to work.

Shhhh. Don't poke holes in this, Crunchy. Gotta keep the sheeple's calm and spending money.

Chile said...

Oh! Wait! Wow, I have an idea. Oh my god, it's so awesome. Remember those foam floaty advertisements in the air your wrote about? How about making those for the polar bears to hang out on instead of ice?!

They could still have the advertising logos and stuff. Think of the shots from the airplanes and helicopters. "We're Company X and we're saving the polar bears!"

Anonymous said...

Wow, for a minute there I thought I was reading "the Onion" instead of Crunchy Chicken.

Seriously though why can't folks just power down a bit and get real. If we acquire all this new gas/oil doesn't it just leave the same mess we are in for the children?

Greenpa said...

Hey, you left out all the methane! Great gobs of it are locked up in tundra permafrost- and when it melts, off she goes into the atmosphere. Then there's the methane ice that's sitting on the sea-floor (you know, down where they're drilling for oil.) Just google methane clathrates for a fun morning. That stuff doesn't amount to great gobs- it's hyper huge great gobs of methane- on the sea floor- and very unstable. whee.

And you left out Antarctica, which is also melting. Coal. Gold. Uranium. And nobody owns it-yet.

jewishfarmer said...

Oh, Greenpa beat me to the methane hydrates. Those are the very best part, because if they all melt, the world will warm by 8 degrees C - not only will we be able to get through the northwest passage, but there will be crocodiles in the arctic (there were last time the world had a giant methane fart). I bet they eat polar bears, too. How cool will that be for the tourists, who can pay to see the last three polar bears, sweating in death matches with crocodiles.

The other thing, of course is that it isn't really all that easy to drill for oil in the arctic, and the estimates of how much is there are pretty tenuous. So turn up the heat, baby - that way it might all come rattling to a halt, just as the world is getting good.


DC said...

A conversation ten years in the future:

Child: "Mommy, what's happened to Santa now that the North Pole has completely melted? Is he okay?"

Mother: "He's fine, Dear. He lives in a FEMA trailer in Camden, New Jersey."

Child: "Crap, that sounds awful."

Mother: "It's not so bad. He's drunk most of the time, so he's not really that aware of his surroundings."

Child: "What about the reindeer? Where are they?"

Mother: "They're in a better place."

Child: "What do you mean? A better place than New Jersey?"

Mother: "Well . . . they were put to sleep . . . with high powered rifle bullets. Their antlers were ground into a powder and sold as an aphrodisiac to men in Asia. The rest of their remains were made into a reindeer slurry and sold to indigenous people of the north who no longer had a place to hunt."

Child: "What about the elves? What are they doing now?"

Mother: "Well, the lucky ones perform in a Vegas show called 'Fairies on Ice.' Scott Hamilton puts on a toupee and fake beard, dresses up as Santa, and skates around the rink with them while a laser light show and Manilow tunes numb the crowd into a stupor. Some guy named Greenpa produces it. The rest of the elves work in a sweatshop in China."

Child: "I think I'd rather work in the sweatshop."

Mother: "It's all for the best, really. Misery and destruction are the price we have to pay for progress and happiness."

Green Bean said...

Great news! Even better, you won't need to turn your heat off because we are moving toward a state of perpetually hot. They say we won't feel it until 2009 but after that it will be smooth, tropical sailing.

Allie said...

Oh yay. Salvation.


I think I need to go stuff my face with cookies now too.

JessTrev said...

You and DC combined have rendered me speechless. Those drowning polar bears capture it all for me...I can't get them out of my mind. And methane farts? Thanks, Greenpa.

ruchi said...

Ahahahah! DC you kill me! Santa's in a FEMA trailer in Camden, NJ!!

Robj98168 said...

Just think- they can leave the polar bears right on the banks of the NW Passage-the tourists can sail by and wave to the polar bears and throw them marshmallows- polar bear problem solved!
I got a solution lets take Bush and cheney and put them on a disconnected ice flow with polar bears. No guns, dick- you might shoot the president, while aiming for a polar bear (a guy can dream, cant he?)

Anonymous said...

I know saying anything political could get me stoned :) But I for one is counting the days to 1/29/2009. Can't it come sooner?

DC said...

Rob, I could go for throwing a marshmallow to the bears, particularly if it looked like this.

Cindyw, I also try to avoid posting political comments (and satirical photos) at all costs, but if you can guarantee that posting them will get me really stoned, I might reconsider. I need something to get me through the next 224 days and six hours.

gpc said...

I have no such political restraint -- if I were a cynical person, I would wonder if the gov't purposely increased our carbon output for just this purpose - which is also kind of good news, because it would mean that we are going to heck in a handbasket because of brilliant greed and not mere stupidity, as I previously thought.

Anonymous said...

yup, and that's why canada hasn't named the polar bear an endangered species yet. because once they do, their habitat becomes protected, and the bidding war over that land is over.

an american election isn't going to change anything. don't you think that the people paying off bush are gonna pay off whoever else comes into power? it doesn't matter, democrat or republican - they're all gonna bend over for the same people, regardless of what they say. you can't wait for the government, the world is corporate now.

Lee said...

I can see it now - celebrity death match: crocodiles versus polar bears.

Hey, as long as they throw a few politicians and oil execs into the ring for fodder, I'll pay for a ticket or two.

[Did I really just type that?]

Ecodea said...

I want to puke...

Anonymous said...

yeah another place to stick another fuckn american attraction park like disney land.. Forget caring or living in the real world with the beauties of this planet.. NO just fukem all up and give some americans new oppurtunities to expolit this earth so they can make more money and go on holiday and look at plastic figureens and drink out of plastic cups and get so fat and then replace real whales with americans - are you american by the way ! Go fish !

Sammi In The City said...

I will be heading to the North Pole via Russia ... I'll let you know how it all works out ... I'm hoping the solar eclipse (on my 40th) doesn't cause some freaky natural disaster ... Polar bears, whales, and seals finally unite against man and poof!