Monday, August 12, 2013
Climate change is here! And it's good for you!
The Financial Times has seen the future, and it works! Today's edition has Chinese cargo ship sets sail for Arctic short-cut on its front page. The 19,000-tonne Yong Sheng is attempting the first ever commercial transit of the Northeast Passage. The vessel set sail on August 8 from Dalian, a port in north-eastern China, bound for Rotterdam. But whereas the traditional route is through the Suez Canal and Mediterranean (red in the diagramme) the vessel will take the blue route via the Bering Strait and across the top of Russia. This is known as the Northern Sea Route.
And it could shave as much as 15 days off the voyage. $$$$ !!!!
“Changing climate opens a short-cut that promises to reduce shipping times between China and Europe” is how the FT characterises this development. “But analysts caution” continues the FT in downbeat mood “that it will be years before the route, which is only passable for a few months, is commercially viable let alone a rival to the Suez Canal, which handled more than 17,000 ships in 2012.”
The other big “economic prospect for the polar region” according to the FT is oil exploration. But this is progressing at a slower pace than the opening up of the Northern Sea Route.
Such is the language in which the FT frames evidence of the unfolding of a disaster unparalleled in human history.
For more links on this theme see my earler post A result! Ships to sail over North Pole by mid-century.