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A Climate Change Vacation

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1754_De_Fonte_Map_of_the_Northwest_Passage_(America_-_Asia_-_Polar)_-_Geographicus_-_DeFonte-1754

What exciting times we live in.

Engineers built the Panama Canal to make a viable North American shipping route from the Atlantic to the Pacific. They likely didn’t expect that their descendants would create another one through global warming.

Last week, the cruise ship Crystal Serenity set sail from Anchorage, Alaska, and is expected to cross the fabled Northwest Passage in eight days. This trip shaves almost three years off explorer Roald Amundsen’s first-of-its-kind trek more than a hundred years ago.

While many ships have traversed the passage in the last decade, the Crystal Serenity is the largest ship of its type to do so. This dubious distinction is not lost on the cruise organizers, who have invited “adventurers” onboard, perhaps in an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of trepidation that prevailed in Amundsen’s day.

But of course, it’s the radical changes in the atmosphere that, sadly, make such a commercial voyage possible. With the first “ice-free” Arctic summer potentially arriving in the next few years, the sense of adventure will give way to complacency as such trips become run-of-the-mill.

Nothing is run of the mill in the era of climate change. Trips to experience record heat should be fun! And imagine being on a trekking adventure to see the last summer a given species is going to exist. Good times!

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  • Todd

    Come scuba dive the coral reef that used to be your grandparents’ summer home!

    • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

      Assumes corals.

      • Todd

        It doesn’t matter. You won’t be able to get past all the jellyfish to the new reef in any case.

    • rea

      Full fathom five thy father lies;
      Of his bones are coral made;
      Those are pearls that were his eyes:
      Nothing of him that doth fade,
      But doth suffer a sea-change
      Into something rich and strange.
      Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
      Ding-dong.
      Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.

  • Snarki, child of Loki

    I look forward to the polar bears swarming the cruise ship, and snacking on climate change tourists.

    Can it start with the NRO cruise? N_B, can you get the word out?

    • Hey! NRO cruisers’ livers are deadly!!

    • Downpuppy

      I’ve already booked seats on the NRO 2030 North Pole Cruise

      They’ll explain Global Cooling

  • Enjoy the fun while it lasts!

  • keta

    Here’s a different perspective, from a small Northwest Territories community that will be visited by the ship’s passengers:

    The town’s mayor, Laverna Klengenberg, says the community has been busy preparing.
    “It’s wonderful,” she said.
    “People have been drum dancing, preparing their traditional clothing, doing arts and crafts, taking training to be tour guides and whatnot. So it’s been quite busy, so we’re happy to see that.”
    Arctic hamlets prepare for giant cruise ship Crystal Serenity
    Janet Kanayok, Ulukhaktok’s economic development officer, was eager for the day to come.
    “We can showcase to the world what we’ve been preparing for,” she said.

  • I’m putting all my investment funds into pool noodles, as it’s obvious we’re all going to be treading water pretty soon.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      Speak for yourself, lowlander. I hear there’s going to be all kinds of exciting opportunities in beachfront real-estate in Colorado.

      • Anxiously awaiting the return of the Western Interior Seaway covering the Great Plains, myself.

  • Now is the time to invest in beach front property in Gainesville Florida. Act now before this opportunity is lost.

  • KadeKo

    I am wondering what the ghost of John Franklin thinks right now.

  • Nadabupkis

    My plan is to figure out a way to short coastal real estate. That’s gonna crash hard one of these decades. I just need to stay alive long enough.

    The lawyers are going to have a field day, too. Imagine all the torts from enraged coastal real estate owners whose front lawns are under water.

    • What are they going to do, sue the ocean?

      • Nadabupkis

        I think they will sue sellers, the fossil fuel companies, real estate brokers, and municipalities for starters. Perhaps a lawyer can weigh in here (I’m a scientist).

        • I’d guess “Acts of Gawd” cover a lot of that.

          • BigHank53

            If anyone can find His address, I’m sure He’ll get served notice as well.

          • Nadabupkis

            Climate change is anthropogenic, it is not an act of god.

  • Keaaukane

    No worries, President Trump has got this mother. The nuclear war he will start with Putin, NATO, Mexico and 2 Arab countries to be named later will start a nuclear winter. That, plus the population reduction from the war will solve all our global warming problems. You just have to think outside of the box, people.

  • Bruce Vail

    The alternate view here is that this kind of eco-tourism builds public awareness of climate issues.

    Of course, Crystal Cruises is out to make money any way it can and that is their sole concern. But I don’t see a down side in letting affluent Americans (and Europeans) see the effects of climate change up close, and getting several days of education in the arctic environment in the process.

    • Bruce Vail

      The price of one of these cruises is about $9,000 per person, so I don’t think we have to worry about it getting overcrowded up there.

      • Bruce Vail

        Ooops, $9000 is for a partial voyage. If you want the Crystal Cruise full voyage — NY to Anchorage — it costs $21,000.

    • davidsmcwilliams

      The irony is that I’m pretty sure that the Serenity runs on Bunker C fuel oil.

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