The upside of global warming

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Sure, global warming may turn fertile fields into deserts and sink coastal cities under rising seas — but think of the money-making opportunities! The CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR reports that the Earth’s human-driven warm-up is melting the polar ice cap in the Canadian Arctic, which could open the Northwest Passage to commercial shipping within a few decades. Cool!

This is the shortcut Columbus dreamed of. It’s an alternative to the oh-so-last-century Panama Canal. And one day soon, the Northwest Passage could present the perfect waterway for shipping Alaskan oil to Europe. The very possibity of that happening has got people whispering about who would control the lucrative trade route. Canada has asserted sovereignty, which the US has challenged. Some think only an international body would do; considering how an oil spill would wreak havoc on the Arctic ecosystem, whose environmental regulations should govern the new frontier?

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