Saturday, November 29, 2008

First Commercial Ship Sails Canada's Northwest Passage: Good News -- or Is It?

1st commercial [Canadian] ship sails through Northwest Passage (CBC)

They didn't see even "one cube of ice". Sounds like good news for arctic communitieswho can get supplies delivered cheaper and faster. Of course the opening of the Northwest Passage is also one of the predicted effects of climate change, it's happening much sooner than expected, and any traditional activities that depend on year-round ice cover (directly or indirectly) may have to be abandoned. And the more arctic (and other) fossil carbon is burned, the more the climate would change -- further degrading traditional arctic ways of life.

The race to exploit arctic mineral and energy resources will also heat up. The CIA thinks that it would benefit Canada as a whole and " is unlikely to trigger major armed conflict." And we all know from events in the last eight years how prescient they are. Oh wait...

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