Potential benefits of global warming are frequently overstated for ideological convenience.  However, there’s an interesting article in today’s New York times about how rising temperatures in the Arctic have begun to melt the ice that blocks ships from traveling through the Arctic Ocean when voyaging from East Asia to Europe.

[T]he Russians hope that the transit of the German ships will inaugurate the passage as a reliable shipping route, and that the combination of the melting ice and the economic benefits of the shortcut — it is thousands of miles shorter than various southerly routes — will eventually make the Arctic passage a summer competitor with the Suez Canal.

Seems like good news overall, although it highlights one of the major impediments to global compliance on climate change mitigation policy:  there are some countries (particularly Russia) for whom global warming will probably have a net positive effect.  How can you get these northern countries to make economic sacrifices for the sake of the countries that global warming will hurt?

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