10:59 am January 5, 2010, by Kyle Wingfield
Greenlanders stand to gain a great deal if their climate warms. From Popular Mechanics:
When the 748-foot Stena Forth plows into the deep waters of Greenland’s Disko West zone next summer, the advanced drillship will be taking the first crack at what could be the world’s biggest untapped reservoir of oil and gas….The United States Geologic Survey estimates [Greenland's] offshore reserves could hold 50 billion barrels of oil and gas, or nearly one-third of the arctic total.
While hunters, who make up a sizable proportion of Greenland’s population, are suffering as a result of climate change, government officials quietly confirm that warming temperatures should bring new riches to the country. In addition to oil and gas, the retreat of ice is prompting new onshore mining ventures, and in coming decades Greenland could benefit from shipping as the Northwest Passage become a viable alternative to the Suez and Panama Canals.
One aspect of the climate-change debate which we ignore too often is the potential benefits — and whether they might outweigh the potential consequences.
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