MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT Arctic Glacier
On November 29th the Christian Science Monitor and multiple news outlets reported that there is yet again evidence of increasing environmental degradation due to global warming. According to the Monitor, "Fueled by global warming, polar ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are now melting three times faster than they did in the 1990s, a new scientific study says."
Meanwhile, an August New York Times (NYT) article is headlined "Satellites Show Sea Ice in Arctic Is at a Record Low": "The amount of sea ice in the Arctic has fallen to the lowest level on record, a confirmation of the drastic warming in the region and a likely harbinger of larger changes to come."
There is hardly a sliver of hope to be taken in the accelerating devastation of the planet. â€śItâ€™s hard even for people like me to believe, to see that climate change is actually doing what our worst fears dictated,â€ť Jennifer A. Francis, a Rutgers University scientist who studies the effect of sea ice on weather patterns told the NYT. â€śItâ€™s starting to give me chills, to tell you the truth.â€ť
But a faster pace in destructive planetary climate change means likely increased profits for the fossil fuel behemoth corporations and their natural resource extraction cousins.
In fact, on September 19 the NYT ran a candid account of the riches to be made off of global warming entitled "Race Is On as Ice Melt Reveals Arctic Treasures"
The NYT dispassionately informs us:
Here, as well as in Alaska, Canada and Norway, oil and gas companies are still largely exploring, although experts estimate that more than 20 percent of the worldâ€™s oil and gas reserves are in the Arctic. Warmer weather has already extended the work season by a month in many locations, making access easier.
At one point this summer, 97 percent of the surface of Greenlandâ€™s massive ice sheet was melting. At current rates, Arctic waters could be ice-free in summer by the end of the decade, scientists say.
The stakes are high, involving military build-ups, the wooing of previously ignored nations by superpowers, and the battle over extraction rights. But, according to the NYT, "experts say boundary disputes are likely to be rapidly resolved through negotiation, so that everyone can get on with the business of making money."
Yes, global warming is leading to a whole new profitability frontier: as islands are threatened with extinction due to rising waters, hurricanes and tornadoes run amuck, and temperatures become increasingly volatile, the vulture capitalists see dollar signs not calamitous ruin.
Sovereign nations, acting on behalf of business interests, are, as noted earlier, circling the carcasses exposed by a rapacious industrial appetite, showering the likes of Greenland with promises of wealth, according to the Times:
Western nations have been particularly anxious about Chinese overtures to this poor and sparsely populated island, a self-governing state within the Kingdom of Denmark, because the retreat of its ice cap has unveiled coveted mineral deposits, including rare earth metals that are crucial for new technologies like cellphones and military guidance systems. A European Union vice president, Antonio Tajani, rushed here to Greenlandâ€™s capital in June, offering hundreds of millions in development aid in exchange for guarantees that Greenland would not give China exclusive access to its rare earth metals, calling his trip â€śraw mineral diplomacy.â€ť
The decline of the earth's viability will make it easier and less expensive for the extractive and fossil fuel industries to profit from the natural resources and oil and natural gas previously not accessible to them. It is seen as a positive development for their future bottom lines.
Over the Arctic, there's a bad moon on the rise.