Monday, September 17, 2007

Franklin rises from the grave

"Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage,
to find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea."

Oh, if only John Franklin or Stan Rogers were still alive. The European Space Agency reported this weekend that ice-free passage from Europe to Asia is possible, causing all manner of excitement among climate change junkies, shipping companies, oil companies and sea kayakers.

I wouldn't blow your money on an Arctic sun cruise just yet. The Northwest Passage will probably freeze up or become blocked again in a matter of days or weeks. The real question is what happens next year, and in the years after that.

If you've got a hunch, lay down a bet with William Connolley.

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