With sea level rise overtaking many locales around the world, a rapidly acidifying ocean, record ice melt and a dry as tinder California losing its native redwood trees to drought and going up in flames as we speak, we now get a correspondent who wants to talk about the positive side of the story. After years of denying the incontrovertible phenomenon, they have switched to justifying it for all the good it is going to do us.
The New York Times reported Sunday that Quintillion, a global communications company, is taking advantage of melting sea ice to build a faster digital link between Europe and Asia by positioning high-speed internet cables beneath the Arctic Ocean. Until recently, cable-laying ships couldn't get too far north, but climate change has meant less ice north of the Bering Strait. Consequently, Point Hope is now a stop on Quintillion's shipping route, and the company is supplying the town with broadband service. That means a better life for residents of one of the nation's most isolated communities. But the truth — the inconvenient truth, to coin a phrase — is that while climate change brings negatives, it brings positives too. Polar melting may cause dislocation for those who live in low-lying coastal areas, but it will also lead to safe commercial shipping in formerly inhospitable northern seas, and to economic opportunity for high-latitude residents in places like Point Hope.Point Hope notwithstanding, this is a load of crap. Pollyanna Jeff stepped into a big pile of it and is now looking around for his pony. Spare me. The tertiary effects of global warming will dwarf any possible benefits, new north sea shipping routes notwithstanding. We are in a headlong rush to undue 4.54 billion years of homeostatic earth function. I don't trust us not to muck up the job. Not one bit.
Shifts in climate are like shifts in the economy: They invariably spell good news for some and bad news for others.