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I Need to Buy Airplane Ticketto See Arctic Before It’s Gone

Posted Sep 13 2008 1:02am

I’ve never been to the Arctic Ocean or Arctic Circle. If I don’t leave soon, I may never get to see the frozen expanse, reports The New York Times.

Two new computer-generated simulations reveal that if greenhouse gases continue unabated, the northern polar cap could be mostly gone during summers starting in 2040. I would be 77 years old.

To give you an idea of how dramatic this melting would be, take a look at this video on The National Center for Atmospheric Research website.

What freaks me out is not the story itself – I’ve been reading about this danger for years – but how the Times writes that such a melting has a big positive:

This would greatly ease the task of maintaining shipping lanes with icebreaking vessels, said Lawson W. Brigham, deputy director of the Arctic Research Commission, which advises the White House on Arctic matters. Mr. Brigham and other experts said the new research raised the urgency of establishing common standards for protecting the Arctic environment and patrolling shipping lanes.

Why was this brought up in this story? No idea.

But you know, I’ve begun to think that maybe we should just look at the positives of global warming and forget all those nasty negatives. Who cares if rising oceans uproot hundreds of millions of people? Why do we need polar bears in the wild if we have them in zoos?

Instead, let’s consider the positives:

  • Without frozen Arctic air to blast south during the winter, Chicago will become a balmy place year round. We can plant palm trees instead of those other kind that look dead and gloomy for half a year.
  • We can begin growing crops in all that wasted Tundra farmland in Canada.
  • Maybe the Great Lakes will shrink, which would lower property costs as Chicago expanded its skyline east. Plus, as the lake shrunk, the newly revealed terrain might offer hiking with real climbing – or in this case a real descent.
  • The oceans would become less salty as the ice melts, which should be good for something, though I’m not sure what.
  • We can sink the old ice cutters in the new ocean expanses. Maybe new coral reefs, killed off in now too warm ocean waters around the world, will start growing on the old ships.
  • Of course, we would need to rename the Arctic. We could hold a contest and raise money for all the newly homeless.

But why wait all the way until 2040 for the destruction improvement of our planet? Maybe we should start terraforming the planet today so I can enjoy 80-degree winters in Chicago by 2008.

Why wait a year? Well, I want to go see the Arctic before it’s gone, of course.

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