Whether one’s environmental belief system maintains that the disappearance of the ice sheet of the Arctic Ocean is a normal cyclical occurrence in our planet’s extraordinarily complex weather patterns, or is due to the sun’s influence, or whether one believes the warming in the Arctic is being caused by human-generated carbon that inexorably leads to “climate change” or “global warming,” or both, the stark fact is that Arctic ice is disappearing at a rate far faster than even the most pessimistic observers predicted.
The resulting summertime openings of the North West Passage in 2007 and 2008 have suddenly transformed the Arctic Ocean into a political, military and diplomatic football for Canada and all the other “Arctic powers.” Stories and opinions about the Arctic, once rare, are becoming increasingly common in the media. Cruise ships and smaller private vessels are beginning to transit the Passage. Advertisements for tourist “expeditions” through the Passage are routinely being carried in Canadian newspapers. -Brian Flemming, Canada-U.S. Relations in the Arctic: A Neighbourly Proposal
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