The North East Passage

Ships in the ice-free North East Passage

Ships in the ice-free North East Passage

Occasionally a newspaper gets it right and I find myself thinking ‘Yes, thank you for noticing that something was ‘news’ which no one else noticed’. So today The Independent devoted their front page to the news that two freighters were about to complete a voyage from South Korea to Rotterdam by sailing north of northern Russia through the Arctic Ocean. In recorded history this has never been possible even in the short Arctic summer. This marks a milestone in the progress of the Climate Change we are experiencing, and a likely end to the pristine nature of this region. As the independent aptly puts it: A triumph for man, a disaster for mankind:

One Response to “The North East Passage”

  1. Emma Says:

    Couldn’t read any of the Register stories today as they have a big picture of a prehistoric snake that comes half way down the right hand side and makes me shake (got to do something about this snake phobia…)

    I have a friend who works for a council’s press department and she told me that the mayor invited some primary school children round and talked to them about what the council was doing about global warming. She says the children were absolutely terrified by her “doom and gloom”.

    That worries me because we all have defense mechanisms against being terrified – some people will simply refuse to believe any of it, others will feel helpless and try to do more and more. It was a bit like the head teacher who said “Nobody in this room is doing enough revision for GCSE” when I was a teenager – the ones she was really aiming at felt that that was ok then, they wouldn’t be any worse than the others. I doubled my already excessive revision and became ill. Hmmm…

    I think these global warming scare stories do the same thing. Some people (fortunate, rich people…) will buy a house in the country and become self-sufficient (I see that as running away) and others simply won’t care because they won’t believe it. Some will dispair.

    The message we’ve got to get across is “it’s still worth trying to change things”. Of course, though, as you say – we don’t know whether this is true or not. Maybe it is too late – but equally, maybe things aren’t quite as bad. Personally I cling to the glimmer of hope that we might still be able to save our civilisation (that’s why I had a baby… I did think “what kind of world am I bringing him into?” – but my parents told me they thought the same about me – why did they bring me into a world that was going to be blown up by a nuclear bomb?)

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