For years the warmists have bleated about the melting of Arctic ice as a consequence of their hypothetical global warming. Of course, they ignore the build-up of Antarctic ice and the failure of the earth overall to warm for the last decade and a half. But yes, Arctic ice is melting.
And it turns out to be a wonderful thing for humanity. There are two big advantages:
It opens a new, much shorter route for ships traveling between Asia and Europe. In June, Walter Russell Meade pointed to an article in Foreign Affairs that noted:
Since summertime Arctic sea routes save thousands of miles during a journey between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic also stands to become a central passageway for global maritime transportation, just as it already is for aviation.
It should also be noted that this route bypasses the Suez Canal, Arabia, and the Straits of Malacca, all of which are choke points for trade under the control of Muslim countries.
There are also vast hydrocarbon deposits in the Arctic, newly available for exploration and production. Writing today, Meade says:
Melting Arctic ice is...opening up access to new stores of oil and gas-the region is estimated to contain 13 percent of the world's untapped oil reserves and 30 percent of its gas-that were previously inaccessible.
He also tweaks the greenies:
But there's a green aspect to the Arctic melt. As the WSJ reports, the new shipping route is shorter for some inter-continental trade:
Earlier this month, Chinese shipper Cosco sent a container vessel from China to Europe along the route, which it said would not only cut shipping costs and carbon emissions, but also bring it closer to Western markets and foster economic development in Chinese coastal areas.
The newly available hydrocarbon reserves will help power a world not ready to run on solar, wind, and well-wishes, and in some ways the melt is actually green, insofar as it shortens trade routes and provides access to previously inaccessible natural resources.
Consider: As China continues to grow, it's going to need to import more and more energy from abroad. The rest of Asia is also looking to import more oil and gas in the coming years, some of which will come from Europe. Going from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to the Chinese port of Dalian takes an average of 48 days when traveling by the Suez canal, these days a dicey proposition as Egypt continues to deteriorate. But if you've got the right ship, you can travel across the top of Russia, shaving nearly two weeks off of the voyage.
Who says there's no good news? And even when the greenies notice something they think is bad, it turns out to be good.