Politico: Melting Glaciers Unlocking Vast New Resources is Bad

Russian nuclear icebreaker "Arktika"
Russian nuclear icebreaker “Arktika”. By Abarinov (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Politico struggling valiantly to see the bad side of longer growing seasons, more abundant crops and a vast wealth of newly accessible resources.

How Russia and China are preparing to exploit a warming planet
POLITICO’s latest Global Translations podcast explores how climate change is reshaping power dynamics among America’s adversaries.

 08/29/2019 05:11 AM EDT

Hurricanes, floods, and wildfires aside, climate change is delivering another threat: a remaking of geopolitics that stands to empower some of America’s adversaries and rivals.

As Arctic ice melts, Russia stands to gain access to oil and gas fields historically locked beneath northern ice — and is building up capability to launch cruise missiles from newly navigable waters to threaten America’s coastlines.

As polar seaways open up, China is eyeing a new “Polar Silk Road” — shorter shipping routes that could cut weeks off of shipping times from Asia to Europe.

And as drought drives more farmers and herders off their lands, extremist groups in Africa and the Middle East are finding fresh recruits.

A global quest for resources is already underway in the Arctic, said Goodman, now a senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center Polar Institute. “There are thought to be vast stores of fossil fuels, oil and gas and minerals across the Arctic that have not yet been tapped. Russia is doing so today across its vast Arctic coastline with the help of China,” she said.

Russia is vying for control of Arctic seaways and has built some 40 icebreakers — ships that can channel through ice. “Russia envisions under Putin a northern sea route that is essentially a toll road that requires Russian Arctic escorts in the form of icebreakers or other patrol boats, escorting not only the Chinese but others who want to ship across the Arctic,” she said. By contrast, the U.S. has only two icebreakers, she said. 

Meanwhile, China, which is not a polar country, has launched aggressive Arctic diplomacy and gained non-voting observer status for itself at the Arctic Council, the international forum that addresses policy in the Arctic. Last year, China issued its first arctic policy.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/29/russia-china-climate-change-1691698

The Politico article goes on to rehash old CO2 bogeymen like “reduced nutrition” in faster growing CO2 enhanced crops (tell that to all the greenhouse growers who use enhanced CO2 right now).

But the question which really struck me when reading the Politico article – why isn’t the USA in this picture?

By my rough estimate Russia has around 40 icebreakers, around 13 which are nuclear powered.

The USA has around three icebreakers in service or about to go into service.

With this level of Arctic commitment, the USA might as well erect a big sign in Chinese and Russian which says “all yours, help yourselves”. Any reasonable reading of the situation would be that the USA doesn’t care about what happens in the Arctic.

A share of all this treasure is there for the taking; all USA has to do is demonstrate they take the Arctic seriously.

Correction: (h/t Bear) replaced “shorter growing seasons” with “longer growing seasons” in the first paragraph.

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August 31, 2019 6:55 am

I am writing this in a honest none sarcastic way, but i thought ice melt is actually bad for the planet? Its what climate change people are constantly reminding us of, doesn’t the ice affect sea levels? If I am forced to buy a electric vehicle, and all our electric needs will be met by “green electric”, and hopefully fusion power, then why do we need so much oil? I know electric vehicles are bad as the materials needed are stripped from the ground, and most if not all of the car is actually plastic…

Reply to  Sunny
August 31, 2019 8:18 am

sea ice doesn’t: land fast ice like Greenland ice cap raises sea level. However sea ice reflects a lot of sunlight, helping cool planet…

We are indeed likely to need a lot less oil

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:31 am

And less ice cover allows more heat to escape from the ocean to space, cooling the planet.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  MrGrimNasty
August 31, 2019 12:17 pm

Exactly. The naive and erroneous idea that less ice = more melting has been unequivocably trashed since 2007. Clearly it is not that simple. Even equally but objective thought experiments will reveal that open water emits far more IR 24/7/365 and that the ice is in fact an insulating layer, loss of which will mean cooling not more warming.

So look at the data:


Current Arctic sea ice is almost exactly where it was when Al Gore and the IPCCCP started wailing about its imminent disappearance over a decade ago. Where is the “death spiral”, tipping point and runaway melting?

If Russia has built 14 nuke ice breakers it is because at least they understand that it will not be gone in 12years ( along with the rest of life on Earth ). You do not need a nuclear powered ice breaker to clear slush from your driveway.

Reply to  Greg Goodman
September 1, 2019 3:58 am

I read that Russia has a feasibility study looking into replacing the idea of blue-ice airstrips (like its yearly “Barneo” airstrip) with huge aircraft-carrier-icebreakers like floating islands, so jets could land even when the sea-ice gets slushy in the summer.

It is starting to look like the yearly melt of sea-ice might be ending early. Once again the “Death Spiral” theory has been debunked. If it can’t even set a new record with the AMO and PDO both favorably “warm”, what will happen when they turn “cold”?


Reply to  Greg Goodman
September 1, 2019 4:18 am

last couple of days ZeroHedge ran a report saying a lot of the arctic oil/mineral miner types are selling up/moving out.
so Id say they run more truth re financial items than Politico do
and if the russians want to drill in the area off their own shore than good luck
the chinese interest will be controlled by Russia Id say
as for pointing missiles to usa? hmm maybe more protecting their own patch?

last I read usa has ONE working icebreaker one was in drydock and the 3rd was being used for parts for the other 2.
and none big enough to do much good, it seems in more than fairly shallow ice.

sorta sounds like the Brit and aussie navies

John Dilks
Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 11:41 am

not a whole lot of sunlight energy up there.

Reply to  John Dilks
August 31, 2019 12:22 pm

“Summer” is short up there and even most of that time the light is at glasing incidence to the water and gets reflected. However, open water radiates over 10 times as much IR as ice and that happens 24/7/365 as long as there is any open water. So less ice = more heat loss.

That is what any honest scientist will recognise instantly as a negative feedback, not the positive feedback claimed to cause a “tipping point” and “runaway ” melting.

Of course there precious are few honest scientists in this field.

Reply to  Greg
August 31, 2019 2:12 pm

At the angles seen over most of the arctic even at the height of summer, the amount of energy reflected from ice (assuming it’s clean and not covered with soot from China) is barely greater than the amount reflected from sea water.
As you get away from summer and into winter, the angle of incidence decreases even more.
Once you get into winter, there is no sun for most of the arctic ocean.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 12:08 pm

You totally misrepresent the role of the poles in Earth Climate. The poles are the radiators, regulating how much heat loss goes to outer space. The equator and mid-latitudes are the solar collectors with the ocean currents moving that heat poleward.

The Arctic only has enough insolation for 3 months to matter on absorbing sunlight. But less ice in the winter means a vast, huge increase in the loss rate of heat to space.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 31, 2019 1:53 pm

Joel O’Bryan (responding to Griff)

The Arctic only has enough insolation for 3 months to matter on absorbing sunlight. But less ice in the winter means a vast, huge increase in the loss rate of heat to space.

I would correct you slightly: The newly exposed Arctic Ocean receives more heat from the summer sun during only 4 months of the year: mid-April to mid-August.
The other 8 months of the year more heat is lost from the newly exposed Arctic Ocean due to increased long wave infrared radiation, increased evaporation, increased convection, and increased heat conduction to the upper ocean surface.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
August 31, 2019 2:15 pm

Even in those 4 months, the extra heat received is a very, very small amount.
First, a lot of the energy is either reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere. (The amount of atmosphere sunlight has to go through at the poles is orders of magnitude more, compared to the equator.)
Secondly, at low angles of incidence, the difference between ice and water is measurable, but just barely.
Thirdly, as ice gets older, it gets dirtier, sea water is always sea water.

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 3:57 pm

And Greenland landmass ice will take how many thousands of years to melt?
(Hint…10s of thousands)

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 9:31 pm

Land ice does not reflect sunlight, really?

Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 1, 2019 1:15 am

Be fair. Some of griff’s post was correct. A first, AFAIK.

Bryan A
Reply to  Sunny
August 31, 2019 9:28 am

And oil is a required element in the production of light we might Plastic and other synthetics as well as …

A partial list of products made from Petroleum (144 of 6000 items)
One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like:

Solvents, Diesel fuel, Motor Oil, Bearing Grease, Ink, Floor Wax, Ballpoint Pens, Football Cleats,
Upholstery, Sweaters, Boats, Insecticides, Bicycle Tires, Sports Car Bodies, Nail Polish, Fishing lures,
Dresses, Tires, Golf Bags, Perfumes, Cassettes, Dishwasher parts, Tool Boxes, Shoe Polish,
Motorcycle Helmet, Caulking,
Petroleum Jelly, Transparent Tape, CD Player, Faucet Washers, Antiseptics, Clothesline, Curtains, Food Preservatives, Basketballs, Soap, Vitamin Capsules, Antihistamines, Purses, Shoes, Dashboards, Cortisone, Deodorant, Shoelace Aglets, Putty, Dyes,
Panty Hose, Refrigerant, Percolators, Life Jackets, Rubbing Alcohol, Linings, Skis,
TV Cabinets, Shag Rugs, Electrician’s Tape, Tool Racks, Car Battery Cases, Epoxy, Paint
Mops, Slacks , Insect Repellent, Oil Filters, Umbrellas, Yarn, Fertilizers, Hair Coloring
Roofing, Toilet Seats, Fishing Rods, Lipstick, Denture Adhesive, Linoleum, Ice Cube Trays,
Synthetic Rubber, Speakers, Plastic Wood, Electric Blankets, Glycerin, Tennis Rackets,
Rubber Cement, Fishing Boots, Dice, Nylon Rope, Candles, Trash Bags, House Paint
Water Pipes, Hand Lotion, Roller Skates, Surf Boards, Shampoo, Wheels, Paint Rollers,
Shower Curtains, Guitar Strings, Luggage, Aspirin, Safety Glasses, Antifreeze, Football Helmets,
Awnings, Eyeglasses, Clothes, Toothbrushes, Ice Chests, Footballs, Combs , CD’s & DVD’s,
Paint Brushes, Detergents, Vaporizers, Balloons, Sun Glasses, Tents, Heart Valves, Crayons,
Parachutes, Telephones, Enamel, Pillows, Dishes, Cameras, Anesthetics, Artificial Turf,
Artificial limbs, Bandages, Dentures, Model Cars, Folding Doors, Hair Curlers, Cold cream,
Movie film, Soft Contact lenses, Drinking Cups, Fan Belts, Car Enamel, Shaving Cream, Ammonia,
Refrigerators, Golf Balls, Toothpaste, Gasoline

Alasdair Fairbairn
Reply to  Bryan A
September 1, 2019 1:20 am

A good list Bryan.
It should grace the walls of ALL educational establishments and children asked which of the items they would wish to forgo or replace with a biomass equivalent in the absence of oil.

Reply to  Sunny
August 31, 2019 10:25 am


“but i thought ice melt is actually bad for the planet?”

Ice melt is not a problem for the planet; In the past, the planet has had, at various times, both higher and lower amounts of ice than it has today. Ice met can affect the sea level, but sea level has also, at various times in the past, been both higher and lower then today. Despite this, the planet is still here. If you meant ice melt (and/or) sea level rise would be bad for life on earth, life has survived both higher and lower sea levels than today and it is still here. A large amount of sea level rise would be inconvenient for those creatures living on land along the coasts, but at the current rate of sea level rise, it will be a long time before its a problem and life will likely survive it as it has done in the past. Sea level rise does not appear to be a concern for Al Gore who has a mansion near the ocean in Montecito, CA or Barack Obama who is purchasing a mansion near the ocean in Martha’s Vineyard MA.

“If I am forced to buy a electric vehicle, and all our electric needs will be met by “green electric”, and hopefully fusion power”

It is unlikely that all electric needs will be met met by “green electric” any time soon, as current “green electric” is unreliable and must be backed up by fossil fuel generation to ensure the electric grid remains stable. To make “green electric” viable, a new technology needs to be created to store the energy when it has a surplus and release it when it has a deficit. It will also needs to store a large amount of reserve energy for times when “green electric” is not producing for extended periods such as several days that are cloudy and windless. Current battery technology is not able to do this because of its cost and the volume of batteries that would be required. The only really viable solution currently available is pumped hydro, but it is not a universal solution because of the limited number of sites available where it can be deployed effectively. Fusion power has been a promising technology for a long time, but we don’t seem to be any closer to realizing its benefits today than we were when we first started working on it; there is some truth in the old joke “Fusion power is only 20 years away and it always will be”. Nuclear fission reactors are a currently viable “zero-carbon” alternative but for various reasons the are is not being deployed.

“then why do we need so much oil?”

We will need oil for the foreseeable future as it is the basis for much of the products we create , for example the glass and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics used to create wind turbine blades or the racing yachts used to transport environmental activists.

“I know electric vehicles are bad as the materials needed are stripped from the ground, and most if not all of the car is actually plastic…”

Electric vehicles are not “bad”, but currently they are really only practical for short-haul driving such as intracity driving. Their drawbacks include limited range, long recharging times, lack of infrastructure to support them, their cost vs ICE power vehicles etc. Also, if you are inclined to try to reduce fossil fuel usage, you have to consider the amount of fossil fuels required to: make the plastics that go in them, to refine the metals that go in them, to mine the rare earths required to build them and to generate the electricity required to power them.

Ron Long
August 31, 2019 6:56 am

What about Canada, Eh? Canada has almost as long a northern shoreline, and therefore control towards the geographic North Pole, as Russia. The USA has claim to a sector north of Alaska, and for sure it is rick with natural resources, but Canada is the real potential winner. What happens if the Arctic ice melt doesn’t cooperate? Nuclear powered Ship of Fools? China is sticking their nose in everywhere, especially where they know the secret to dealing with buracracy, just saying.

Reply to  Ron Long
August 31, 2019 8:19 am

The Northern Sea Route along the Russian coast was fully open this year by mid August. Melt currently hovering around second/third lowest in 40 year satellite record…

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:16 am

However it was much lower at times prior to the continuous satellite record starting.

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:36 am

The last 15 years have all been so close any claims of ‘lowest’ is dishonest. It’s also obvious that the way the area is calculated has not been consistent (polite way of saying manipulated) over the years. Currently looking like the earliest minimum ever (although it will probably dip bit more).

“The August-October period is peak season for Arctic shipments. But the number of ships in the area still remains low.” (Moscow times Aug 2019).

Greg Goodman
Reply to  MrGrimNasty
August 31, 2019 12:30 pm


Was tracking 2012 quite closely until recently , not is has turned and is almost exactly where it was in 2007 when all this fanfare commenced.

As I showed here, the date of minimum had been slowly drifting later until 2007, since then it has been drifting earlier. More negative feedbacks or some external driver? In either case it has little or nothing to do with CO2.


Steven Mosher
Reply to  Greg Goodman
August 31, 2019 10:27 pm

funny greg redefines minimums

Alan the Brit
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2019 1:33 am

I think you’ll find that those naughty Russian types have been using the northern sea routes for many years, particularly in the 1930s & 1940s!

Max Hugoson
August 31, 2019 7:01 am

Politico…a LEFTIST source. Worthless.

August 31, 2019 7:07 am

Don’t you mean longer growing seasons?

Reply to  Bear
August 31, 2019 8:34 am

You beat me to it.

The growing season basically runs from when you can safely plant crops in the spring until the first killing frost in the fall. ie. from frost to frost. A warmer planet should have longer growing seasons.

The other thing that happens on a warmer planet is that the growing regions move north. That means you can grow crops you couldn’t grow before. Britain could be a major wine producer by 2100. link

Lots of people think we’re in for a longish bout of cooling due to decreased solar activity. I wouldn’t bet much that Britain will be a major wine producer any time soon, or anything else like that.

Reply to  commieBob
August 31, 2019 9:47 am

Spot on cB. As it is right now, Thailand enjoys two rice crops in any given year. Farther north and south of that tropical band the normal production is one rice crop a year.

Reply to  commieBob
August 31, 2019 1:17 pm

The French are whining about a 12% drop in wine production this year (so far) due to the colder spring.


John W Braue
Reply to  icisil
August 31, 2019 5:46 pm

Is the drop in wine production compensated for by the increase in whine production?

Reply to  John W Braue
September 1, 2019 1:36 am

Nah, the frogs always whine, anyway.

Reply to  icisil
September 1, 2019 4:13 am

at the same time burgundys? bitchin that it was too hot n the grapes ripened early…

Reply to  Bear
August 31, 2019 9:45 am

I read it the way you did, but maybe he meant shorter time from planting to harvest for each crop.

Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
August 31, 2019 10:51 am

Yeah, that’s earlier harvest time. The growing season gets longer and ripeness of fruit is reached earlier and is more robust.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Bear
August 31, 2019 10:18 am

I thought it should have read “longer” as well.

Carl Friis-Hansen
August 31, 2019 7:11 am

Although I do not fancy Wikipedia, I did an exception as names and years were documented in a list of icebreakers.
Striking is that according to List_of_icebreakers#Denmark, Denmark has sold all their icebreakers – I assume their many wind turbines keeps the waters ice free these days. Greenland is not an issue, as helicopters are used year round, and shipment only happen during a few summer months.
On the same Wikipedia page you find the list of Russian ice breakers. I skimmed down the page and counted 80 still in service or under construction.
For USA I counted 8 in service where 4 of them belongs to the United States Coast Guard.
Norway has 2 icebreakers.
Canada with 14 icebreakers.
Greenpeace with 1 icebreaker so they can help the oil tankers /SARC

So really, it is puzzling to me why Russia has so many, although they have a huge northern coast line.

Luiza Ch. Savage thinks the Russians has so many icebreakers due to new polar silk-route. What if the issue is that the Russians assume a colder period is on it’s way and will make sure the can support their own northern infra structure? Yes, they also have some new military buildup. It would be interesting to hear something from a Russian here on WUWT, there must be a few.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
August 31, 2019 1:00 pm

If Russia wants their blue water navy to operate as desired, they need ice breakers. Their Black Sea fleet is effectively a brown water navy.

Kees Pool
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
September 1, 2019 2:17 am

One reason may be that the Russians are running a thriving North Pole cruise business with their icebreakers. Thy are built with accommodations for about 100 guests, see picture at the header.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
September 1, 2019 4:21 am

Russia seems to hire em out?
it was a russian icebreaker saved the ship of fools wasnt it?
pity that

August 31, 2019 7:13 am

Here in Alberta we’re still waiting for our share of this warming planet. It’s off to Canadian Tire today to buy a new thermostat for the furnace because the old one packed it in last night.

August 31, 2019 7:24 am

“shorter growing seasons”?

Surely you want longer growing seasons.

Bruce Cobb
August 31, 2019 7:39 am

Politico must think “conservatives are dumb, so I bet they’ll fall for this”. “Global Warming” helps our enemies more than it does us. Riiiight. Pull the other one. They have a whole grab bag of these types of bogus arguments designed (they think) to sway conservatives. Laughable really.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 31, 2019 8:44 am

No they think Conservatives are old and dying off. They know the ute of merica, and future generations, are dumb because they produce dumb in the propaganda factories we call Public Schools. Politico feeds young people stupid through their WiFi connections.

When you see young people moving around with their heads down, they are getting their daily doses of indoctrination. “Brainwashed drones” should be the nickname for the the next generation. Or maybe “The Borg Generation” Yea thats it. Borg because there is no resistance they have all been assimilated.

August 31, 2019 7:41 am

The current slight changes in sea-ice area is unlikely to have any effect whatsoever on availability of gas and oil fields.

And if melting of arctic glaciers increases then the effect will probably be in the opposite direction. It is possible to build drill rigs and production platforms that will withstand sea ice.

Nothing built by humans can withstand an iceberg (they plow several hundred meters deep furrows in the sea-bottom).

What could change is that when the current russian nuclear icebreaker program is completed it is possible that it will be possible to use the Northeast Passage the whole year (July-November now).

The Northwest Passage is a much tougher proposition. The ice is much worse, and the southern route universally used now is very narrow and crooked and limited to ships with less than 21 feet drought.
To keep the northern, deep passage through the Parry Channel open in winter will require many icebreakers more powerful than any built or planned now, as well as specially built freighters (icebreakers can’t remove the ice, they just break it up, the ships have to be able to make their way through several meters of broken-up ice).

Reply to  tty
August 31, 2019 8:21 am

The Northwest passage has been open in 8 of the last 10 years to full size cargo vessels, without the need for icebreaker assistance. This year is seeing at least a strong melt out of the old, thick ice pushed into it in recent winters…

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:17 am

BS alert (as if needed).

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:19 am

For a few weeks in August-September, yes.

Incidentally that was true in 1944 too. No information for most years before and after that.

By the way if the ice was “pushed into it in recent winters”, how could it be open in recent summers? One would have thought that in that case it wouldn’t be any old, thick ice left to melt by now.

The area north of the Parry channel invariably has fast ice in winter, so no “winter pushing” there:



Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:38 am

It was frequently technically navigable going way back, it’s modern navigation/satellites that makes it exploitable nowadays, whereas before it would have been too dangerous.

Reply to  MrGrimNasty
August 31, 2019 12:39 pm

Very true. Bellot strait, the currently favored route (and the only (almost) reliably ice-free one) was near-suicidal for sailing vessels and very risky for all vessels before the satellite era. It is very narrow and has very strong tidal currents. A sailing vessel would not be able to beat back against the wind and current if the far end proved to be blocked. It was discovered in 1852 but nobody went through until 1937.

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 11:29 am

Two hundred years ago, the Royal Society, and the British Admiralty, on reports from whalers, decided the Arctic was melting and sponsored prizes for ships who went through that open water. Nobody made it, many did not return, many reported open water similarly far North as today, but without daily refreshed satellite views, they couldn’t find open passages…
Today we use reports from satellite companies instead of reports from whaling vessels, and we have eco-tourist vessels jammed in the ice pack instead of prize seeking “explorers”….we aren’t much smarter….

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 12:33 pm

Which is of course why every Ship of Tools cruise has been unable to complete their propaganda tours of the NW Passage or North Pole trips

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Bryan A
September 1, 2019 1:37 am

Was it not the “Capitan Kolebnikov” Arctic tour ship a few years back that got stuck for a couple of weeks in ice that wasn’t supposed to be there because as the tour-operators wanted the tourists to see that it had all vanished!

Reply to  tty
August 31, 2019 10:17 am

There aren’t any icebergs in the area where they are talking about putting drilling rigs.

Reply to  MarkW
August 31, 2019 12:52 pm

Exactly! There are no tidewater glaciers in Eastern Siberia, northern Alaska and Northwestern Canada. So drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas is safe enough. The only risk would be if a piece of the shelf-ice off northern Ellesmere land breaks off, but you would have at last a one-year warning before it could become dangerous.

But there are tidewater glaciers in Northeastern Canada, Greenland, Svalbard, Franz Josephs Land, Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya. So no offshore drilling at high latitudes in those areas. And most certainly not in the “iceberg alleys” in Baffins Bay and points south or off eastern Greenland.

August 31, 2019 7:42 am

…you get a ton more food…with only a tiny amount less nutrition

just frigin eat more

August 31, 2019 8:12 am

Russia needs to have the nuclear ice breakers so they can keep their crews alive for the two or three years they have to spend stuck in the melting ice…

Reply to  Yooper
September 1, 2019 4:26 am

no they solved that too, theyre busy towing a floating nuke plant up there for that reason.
think it left harbour about a month ago?

Hocus Locus
August 31, 2019 8:13 am

Save the Ice Age from extinction!
Bring back Canadian glaciers!
Carve the Great Lake basins even deeper!

CONs: Chicago, New York City buried under rubble and ice.
PROs: Chicago, New York City buried under rubble and ice.

August 31, 2019 8:17 am

but how can Russia and China be doing that? People here are always telling me the ice is not melting and in fact there will soon be an ice age! This would mean the Russians and Chinese accept the science of climate change!

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:18 am

Doh! If you were ‘right’ they would be just using normal shipping with some old tyres dangling over the side.

Have you any idea what a nuclear icebreaker can do, even most of the cargo ships are high-rated ice breakers in their own right.

Did you miss all the Arctic stories over the last 3 years, about EVEN the icebreakers being stuck, jollies having to be rescued/abandoned, shipping icebound until ridiculously late in the year?

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:19 am

Once again, griff proves that he never actually reads what he comments on.
Russia and China aren’t doing anything at the moment. This is an opinion piece written by one of your fellow alarmists.

Actually Russia is doing something. They’re building more and bigger ice breakers.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:20 am

” People here are always telling me the ice is not melting”

Nice strawman, griff (I noticed that you’re little “g” now. Demotion?). Can you name anyone here who says the ice isn’t melting?

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:29 am

The Russians have been using the Northeast Passage continuously since 1933. In autumn that is. In 1940 and 1942 they even managed to get a few submarines and destroyers through, which is rather remarkable since they are rather fragile. But of course that was at the peak of the 1930’s-40’s warming.

With the new nuclear icebreakers they can now keep it open as far east as Yenisey/Noril’sk even in winter. When the current nuclear icebreaker program is completed they may be able to keep it open the whole way in winter.

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2019 10:52 am

Nuclear ice breakers? The winter is long harsh and black.

Reply to  Hugs
August 31, 2019 12:55 pm

Yes, but that is what people up north has always had to put up with.

Paul S
August 31, 2019 8:26 am

“With this level of Arctic commitment, the USA might as well erect a big sign in Chinese and Russian which says “all yours, help yourselves”. Any reasonable reading of the situation would be that the USA doesn’t care about what happens in the Arctic.”

Not True, Why do you think Trump is interested in Greenland? For all of the reasons listed above

August 31, 2019 8:30 am

The Russians have a large fleet of icebreakers because they need them. The US has a very small fleet of icebreakers because we need only a very small number of them.

The Russian arctic coastline stretches for over 7,000 miles .. the US arctic coastline but a few hundred miles.

The Russians have millions of people living in the arctic. The US has less than 5,000.

The Russians have the vast area of Siberia, most of which must utilize the arctic coastline to provide cost effective shipping of raw materials and finished products going out and in to their arctic cities. We don’t.

And the notion that the Arctic Ocean is going to be some sort of industrial heartland for any nation on earth is absurd. It’s covered with ice most of the year, and that is not going to change.

August 31, 2019 8:43 am

Clearly it is time to grant our northern provinces full US statehood. Ahhh, but what to do with Quebec? Hey, Vermont is already a French name. Maybe they can become a mentor state to smooth over the cultural bumps.

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
August 31, 2019 10:16 am

I say the US just buys Canada along with Greenland.

One caveat, their natives DO NOT become US citizens, and their offspring will NEVER be allowed to vote in US elections until such time as they, through marriage to US citizens, become MINIMUM 75% descendant of US citizens. No naturalization allowed. These areas to NEVER be US states.

If Canada was part of the US as states, Hillary would be the least of our worries, the Senate would be in Democrat control and ANY of the clowns running for the Democrat nomination would easily win both the popular and electoral college votes.

As for Quebec, they can go back to France less control of the St. Lawrence seaway which shall be free passage as per the Panama canal. Their Hydro power will keep them economically viable although Quebec is currently subsidized by the Canadian Federal government with “equalization” payments, and has been every year since that program was established. The US does not need another San Francisco.

BTW: If Great Britain got rid of Scotland and their liberal voting block, Brexit would be assured as would conservative rule for some years to come. Sorry Hotscot, I like your posts, but you appear to be outnumbered there. Scotland has received more from London then it has remitted INCLUDING North Sea revenues for 18 years or more. Another debtor “liberal” government.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Drake
August 31, 2019 10:22 am

“I say the US just buys Canada along with Greenland.”

Totally! Then former Canadians would have to pay ALLL those traffic tickets the rack up in the US.

willem post
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 31, 2019 12:34 pm


Just invade them like Iraq, then annex them like Hawaii, Texas, California, etc.
US major arctic power, big seat at the table.
US self-conscious problem solved

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  willem post
September 8, 2019 9:38 am

Not a US Self-conscious problem, a Canadian accountability problem.

Andy in Epsom
Reply to  Drake
September 1, 2019 1:20 am

Just start with the hundreds of billions of pounds used to stop the Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland (sepreate companies) from collapsing in 2008 and the ridiculously cheap money by squashing interest rates. They have now been on life support for 10 years while all the middle class have had the saving devalued by these same interest rates and pensions have not increased due to the printed inflation rates. It is not only climate data that gets adjusted.

August 31, 2019 8:50 am

The search for rare earths and minerals, in addition to another supply of oil, is one reason Trump wants to “buy” Greenland. The other is having the additional acreage for surveillance of Russia and China, which means expanding the base we already have there.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Sara
August 31, 2019 9:58 am

USA has left the Thule base on Greenland, so I doubt it would be for military reasons the US repeatedly have asked to buy Greenland. The interesting thing is that Greenland had cost Denmark a lot of money each year since the beginning of the industrial age. That is about to change, as modern technique has begun to enhance mineral and and oil extraction. Denmark, although green influenced, would really have to be bankrupt in order to want to sell Greenland. So, I think President Trump can forget it this time too. By the way, the US is considering to have an ambassador in Greenland – It was called on Greenland when I was young, because Greenland is technically an Island.

Reply to  Sara
August 31, 2019 1:48 pm

Oh, gosh, Carl, I’m so happy to inform you that not only has the USA NOT left Thule AFB, it is still our northernmost active military base. I don’t know what makes you think we’d dump a strategic location like that, BUT we have NOT.

Bryan A
August 31, 2019 9:07 am

One possible reason would be land ownership. Currently the only Arctic Lands that are U.S. possessions is Alaska. And the area around the Thule Air Base. The remainder (around 80% of the NW Passage zone is Canada and Greenland (Denmark). Likely one of the reasons President Trump is considering a Greenland Purchase.

james feltus
Reply to  Bryan A
August 31, 2019 2:25 pm

“Currently the only Arctic Lands that are U.S. possessions is Alaska.”
Alaska is not a U.S. possession, which carries a specific meaning; it’s a state, which carries a different specific meaning.

Bryan A
Reply to  james feltus
August 31, 2019 4:03 pm

Alaska is a US possession in that it was purchased from Russia. Much like your home/land you purchased is your possession. Ownership = Possession

Gary Pearse
August 31, 2019 9:36 am

We should be unequivocably excluding China. They are the real wily ones. I suppose they are more Russia’s concern but Canadians are vulnerable because, Gee we’re so kind and welcoming! The Chinese will sail into Canadian waters when they choose with our third rate drama teachers for heads of state. It will be up to some private individuals to give a warning and then sink a ship.

August 31, 2019 9:49 am

The Russia-China JV in the Arctic will be massive and this too will be blamed on Americans.

August 31, 2019 9:59 am

Aren’t the Chinese the problem in the Amazon too – it is they that are building/financing all the roads into the heart in order to exploit the resources, and farmers and illegal loggers are just using them for easy access.

On one of those Gold mining programs, when they were in Africa, many of the neighbouring claims were run by violent Chinese gangs with no regard for life or the law.

The climate change movement is perverse, whereas the west must destroy itself, the rest of the world grows powerful and wields a wrecking ball to the globe with impunity.

That is what is know as Climate Justice I believe.

August 31, 2019 10:18 am

”Politico struggling valiantly to see the bad side of shorter growing seasons, more abundant crops and a vast wealth of newly accessible resources.”

Shorter growing seasons ?? Should be ”longer” ?

August 31, 2019 12:29 pm

Canada has 15 ice breaking kayaks. We are currently negotiating with the Chinese to develop our North. In return we expect a container full of electronic devices not more than three generations obsolete and a lifetime supply of Fentanyl (life expectancy on Fentanyl not being very long , we think this should be doable).

August 31, 2019 2:40 pm

Here’s another alarm for the Climate Alarmists : CO2 causes increased food production and adds to Worldwide Obesity. Increased food production also means that fewer people are dying of starvation which will not help the Climate Alarmists in their plan to cull the World Population.

Tom Abbott
August 31, 2019 3:42 pm

I think Politico is putting the cart before the horse.

First, it needs to be established that CO2 is actually adding net heat to the Earth’s atmosphere. To date, this has not been established.

So this Politico article and all other writings based on CAGW are just pure speculation with no basis in fact.

What if the Arctic ice doesn’t melt, Politico?

How does China establish ownership rights in the arctic, Politico?

Johann Wundersamer
August 31, 2019 3:52 pm

Why Russia needs ice breakers :


michael hart
August 31, 2019 7:06 pm

“As Arctic ice melts, Russia […] is building up capability to launch cruise missiles from newly navigable waters to threaten America’s coastlines.”

Yeah, right. Did CNN tell them that? It’s one of the sillier recent exaggerations about Russian military capabilities and intentions. Not only does it make no military sense, the Russian navy couldn’t punch its way out of a wet paper bag, never mind compete with US naval forces.

August 31, 2019 8:10 pm

Here, you could do something. Get another ice breaker built.

Patrick MJD
August 31, 2019 9:34 pm

Griff still bleating on about ice loss at the Arctic?

Patrick MJD
August 31, 2019 11:16 pm

That Russian icebreaker pictured takes 2 months to start up. And once fueled runs for about 5 years IIRC. Can easily crunch through 3 metres of ice and has two reactors each can power 60,000 homes IIRC.

The Russians are building bigger ice breakers, I wonder why?

Alasdair Fairbairn
Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 1, 2019 2:05 am

Come on Patrick. A home is NOT a unit of power. Could we have 60,000 homes expressed in Megawatts please.?
At least, being nuclear and therefore reliable the conversion is clear. If it was a wind farm it is meaningless without backup.
Perhaps that is why the wind industry uses this “Homes” nonsense. – purported meanless truth to addle the mind.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Alasdair Fairbairn
September 1, 2019 4:34 pm

I think this is the vessel featured in the image above;


From the article;

“Two OK-900A nuclear reactors provide a power output of 27.6MW.”

I don’t know what that equates to in terms of numbers of homes it could power.

September 1, 2019 3:36 am

So Trump’s idea of buying Greenland was not such a dumb idea.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Steve
September 1, 2019 4:39 am

No, Trump had a good idea in buying Greenland.

Maybe the good folks who live in Greenland could take a vote as to whether they want to join the United States or not. Trump could offer some very large, monetary incentives along with other guarantees.

Let the people decide.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 1, 2019 11:29 pm

Right now the Danes won’t let Greenlanders actually own land. As with the reservations in the US, the result is increased poverty. If we let the Greenlanders actually own their land, it would be a huge benefit to them, and to us.

james feltus
September 1, 2019 5:12 pm

You may call it a possession, or a tree, or a tuba, or anything you like, but in the real world, amongst those who respect accuracy, it’s known as a state. We have 50 states, and some possessions. The U.S. possessions are not states, nor are the U.S. territories. Also, the fact that Alaska was purchased is meaningless, regarding its statehood. Some U.S possessions and territories were not purchased; they were merely conquered. Alaska, otoh, had it’s application for statehood accepted, thus becoming a state. Next, you’ll probably be claiming that Virginia is a possession, when it is, under the Constitution, a separate country, which put itself within a federation, with the legal right to leave, if it so chooses.
Va, NYS, and Connecticut included, in their constitutional signing documents, language that reserved their right to leave. The docs were accepted with that reservation. Since no state can have any rights, duties, obligations, or priveleges that all other states don’t have, then every state has the right to secede, and Lincoln didn’t rewrite the Constitution, much as he may have wanted to; only an amendment can do that.

September 4, 2019 8:57 am

“As polar seaways open up, China is eyeing a new “Polar Silk Road” — shorter shipping routes that could cut weeks off of shipping times from Asia to Europe.”

Just how would that fantasy play out?
China’s most northern port is over 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) just from the Bering Straits; in an opposite direction of Europe.

China does not have any openings to the Arctic ocean. Russia owns all of that landscape.
I would not recommend that any country try to develop Arctic territory along Russia’s Northern lands.

Unless, China looks to provoke a war with Russia; it is doubtful that China will consider provoking most countries bordering the Arctic ocean.

Leaving Politico’s babbling as ignorant daydreaming. Another alarmist publication bumble where alarmists think-tank a worry; then hype that worry without investigation, research or common-sense.

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