Published on Jul 16, 2017
In the North, some people are happy that climate change is a fact now: If we continue this way, the Arctic ice will have melted by 2040! We will see glaciers disappear and entire species of fish migrate. Ecologists see it as a disaster, but investors see a business opportunity and extreme profits in the melting polar ice caps. If, (or when), the Arctic will melt, it will be come an Arctic business. What if this melting of the polar ice caps is inevitable? We know the dangers, but are there also opportunities in global warming? A world without Arctic ice means a new area to discover, exploit and navigate; it means Arctic business.
During the summer months, a new shipping route around the ice caps will be navigable, a much shorter route to Asia than the current ones through the Suez Canal or around the Cape. Oil, gas and minerals that were inaccessible under the ice are suddenly within reach, and new investors are moving to the polar circle. The Chinese are extensively researching opportunities in Iceland, the Norwegians will benefit from a new northern shipping route, and Greenland is the only country in the world rising faster than the sea level, so it will have more arable land.
Our view of the Earth is distorted by the projection of the world that we learned in school, and that we still see in the news every day. But if you turn the globe over and view it from the polar area, you will see a new future emerging. A new geopolitical and economic game unfolds. It’s time to have a look at the players who seize global warming as a golden opportunity.
Original title: Het warme Noorden.
Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2014.
© November 2014
Our globalized world causes societies, economies and cultures to seek a new balance. VPRO Documentary reflects on this with new features every week. We research subjects like politics, world economy, society and science with experts and try to grasp the essence of prominent trends and developments.