A United Nations committee released the results of a study yesterday that says up to 1 million species could be extinct by the year 2050 as a result of man-made climate change and consumption.
On the same day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech at the annual meeting of the Arctic Council where he cited the economic opportunities of climate change.
"The Arctic is at the forefront of opportunity and abundance," Pompeo said in remarks in Rovaniemi, Finland. "It houses 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil, 30 percent of its undiscovered gas, an abundance of uranium, rare earth minerals, gold, diamonds, and millions of square miles of untapped resources, fisheries galore."
"Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade," he continued. "This could potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West by as much as 20 days."
"Arctic sea lanes could become the 21st century Suez and Panama Canals," Pompeo remarked.
It should go without saying, but what happens in the Arctic won't stay in the Arctic. The collapse of Arctic sea ice may open up new opportunities for trade and the exploitation of natural resources, but you might say that's a secondary concern to all of South Florida being swallowed by the ocean. And after the Arctic collapses, the Antarctic could follow.
It's not clear how the audience reacted Pompeo's remarks, but you may recall that the United States refused to sign onto a joint statement with the Arctic Council if it included even a single mention of climate change.
We didn't just refuse to mention climate change; we sent a representative who sang the praises of climate change.
Future generations will rightfully curse us all.