By Dave Lindorff
Ice at the poles is melting faster than scientists expected (
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Climate skeptics in Congress, and oil and coal industry lobbyists like the American Petroleum Institute and the American Coal Council may be preventing any significant action in the US on reducing this country's emissions of carbon into the atmosphere, but at the Pentagon, and in the executive suites of the oil industry giants, there is no doubt about the reality of climate change.
As Admiral Robert J. Papp of the US Coast Guard wrote in 2012 in the magazine of the US Naval Institute:
"The world may seem to be growing smaller, but its seas are growing bigger--particularly in the great North, where a widening water-highway beckons both with resources and challenges."
Admiral Papp didn't futz around. Without any caveats or bows to corrupted scientists on the payroll of the Koch Brothers, he wrote:
"The Arctic Ocean, in the northern region of the Arctic Circle, is changing from a solid expanse of inaccessible ice fields into a growing navigable sea, attracting increased human activity and unlocking access to vast economic potential and energy resources. In the 35 years since I first saw Kotzebue, Alaska, on the Chukchi Sea as a junior officer, the sea ice has receded from the coast so much that when I returned last year the coastal area was ice-free. The shipping, oil-and-gas, and tourism industries continue to expand with the promise of opportunity and fortune in previously inaccessible areas. Experts estimate that in another 25 years the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free during the summer months."
Meanwhile, oil companies, from ExxonMobil to ARCO, Chevron, Shell, BP, Norway's Statoil and Russia's Gazprom, are gearing up to begin drilling for oil and gas in parts of the Arctic Ocean that are already becoming free of ice in summer months, knowing that even in winter, the returned ice sheet will be manageably thin in coming years. (They are also covetously looking to drill in the soon to be ice-free parts of Greenland, and and are even contemplating the prospect of being able to prospect for oil in a warmer Antarctica--as though an ice-less or much less ice-bound Antarctica would be a good thing!))
How can executives of these companies, whose scientists are assuring them that there's big money to be made tapping the vast oil and gas reserves known to lie beneath the shallow Arctic waters now being relieved of their ice cover for the first time in millions of years, be simultaneously lobbying Congress and paying for propaganda campaigns designed to sow doubts among the public about the true climate-change situation?...
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new uncompromising four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2117