The Race Is On: Global Warming Brings Commercial Exploitation

by RS Bailey

The Commercial exploitation of global warming is well underway. Shell Oil’s deep sea drilling platform “Kulluk” is preparing to be towed into the Arctic Ocean’s Beaufort Sea . It is intended to begin operations drilling exploratory wells off the north coast of Alaska sometime in July. It was to be expected. The rig began its retrofitting for the Arctic venture last summer. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued the permit and the Environmental Appeals Board has rejected the appeal made regarding air quality standards. Shell had been seeking the offshore drilling permits for six years.


According to the Congressional Research Service paper , “Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress”, published on Feb. 27, the US Geological survey estimates that 90 billion barrels of oil, nearly 1,700 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids may remain to be discovered in the Arctic. 84% of the oil and gas is expected to occur offshore.


It is no accident that global warming is happening and will continue despite the fact that there is no longer any doubt the cause is man. Recent scientific evidence continues to prove that man is the cause of global warming. It cannot be ignored. Government and corporate disinformation campaigns, which continue despite the “unequivocal” evidence, should be.


A few facts:

  • A new NASA study in the upper atmosphere has shown that Earth’s energy imbalance, the difference between the amount of solar energy absorbed by Earth’s surface and the amount returned to space as heat, shows that despite unusually low solar activity between 2005 and 2010, the planet continued to absorb more energy than it returned to space. In short, the inescapable conclusion is that greenhouse gases generated by human activity, not changes in solar activity as naysayers were trumpeting, are the primary force driving global warming.


  • NASA adds, “It’s worth noting because this provides unequivocal evidence that the sun is not the dominant driver of global warming. The most recent measurements show that carbon dioxide levels are currently 392 parts per million and scientists expect that concentration to continue to rise in the future. For the weather to get back to what it used to be, carbon dioxide levels need to be reduced to about 350 parts per million.”


  • Other studies show that one of the other last bastions of disinformation was the notion that carbon dioxide levels don’t fuel atmospheric warming and the evidence was supposedly held in Antarctic ice. “A simple interpretation of Antarctic ice-core records, the one preferred by global warming skeptics, portrayed carbon dioxide as a weak, even inconsequential player in the warming that brought the world out of the last ice age.” But a more thorough survey of ice core samples, “the first continuous, near-global record of temperature as the last ice age ended has now been completed showing that carbon dioxide did indeed help warm the world. The data clearly showed carbon dioxide rising ahead of rising temperature.”


There is little doubt that the world’s northern governments and major corporations have known all of this for some time. They just haven’t wanted to share the information with the public because there is a financial killing to be made in petroleum, mining, timber, and agricultural despite the ecological price to be paid south of the arctic.


The Congressional Research paper shows that our government has been operating and developing policy with many of these conclusions since 2007 to 2009. It goes on to point out that the Arctic has been projected to be perennially ice-free in the late summer by the late 2030s, and that the diminishment of Arctic ice could lead in coming years to increased commercial shipping on two trans-Arctic sea routes, the Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage. Current international guidelines for ships operating in Arctic waters are being updated.


There is no doubt that this continued thawing opens massive commercial opportunities not only in the Arctic Ocean. Major corporations are proposing year round operations and railroad lines to exploit resources in the far north. Warming offers increased access for the timber, mining, and agricultural.


It should be noted that, with the exception of Alaska, the U.S. isn’t really a part of this great northern boon. Especially when compared to Russia and Canada. Remember that Venice, Italy is further north than New York City. Could this be why very little concern about global warning has been expressed in Russia? They are the nation that stands to gain the most. Canada is a distant second. But further south, changing weather patterns will be bringing us more violent weather and more awkward growing seasons. Don’t be surprised if the southern latitudes experience increased drought. So far 2012 is registering as the hottest year on record.


There are other interesting fiscal implications. The U.S. Coast Guard is now predicting that they will have to turn their attention north and put less effort into drug interdiction and the protection of U.S. fishing grounds. They need facilities in the Arctic and it will cost billions to get them. That means big money for a lot of businesses. Heavy equipment is on the way north for military construction projects which have already begun. Coast Guard and Naval support facilities for the commercial exploitation of the Arctic Ocean will be constructed at taxpayer’s expense.


Russia, the U.S., Canada, and Denmark (Greenland) are currently divvying up this massive pie in the World Court.


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