Climate change allows 3 explorers to boldly sail where no man has sailed before

The three-man crew of the 31-foot Belzebub II, a fiberglass sailboat "with a living space the size of a bathroom," told the world today how they sailed through the M’Clure Strait in northern Canada, a "decreasingly ice-packed route through the famed Northwest Passage." Warming global temperatures and melting polar ice caps made it possible. The crew's original blog post is here. (LAT)


  1. I remember regularly seeing an ad for some bank or financial services company (it ran in the New Yorker, if not other places) that talked about their global investment strategies and how super-duper on top of it all they were.  The ad showed a globe with various investment opportunities labeled.  One of them pointed to the polar ice cap and talked about how they’d totally take advantage of opportunities in new shipping lanes caused by global warming.  I just kept thing, “Seriously?  Who’s going to give a shit about 0.1% increase in their mutual funds once we’re at the point that the ice cap is gone?  Won’t we be fighting each other with spears over miniscule amounts of food at that point?”  I don’t remember which company had the ad, but I remember seeing a slightly altered version of it without the “Here’s How We’ll Game the Markets Once Our Destruction of Nature Is Complete” bit.  I’d like to think they were shamed into changing it, but it was probably just revised as part of the regular ad refresh cycle.

    1. Why is that shameful? It’s just trying to make lemons into lemonade. If anything it is a good sign that people whose financial security depends on it acknowledge global warming, since the phenomenon (independent of whether it is anthropogenic and whether we should do anything about it) is a real thing. Unexpected bail outs non-withstanding, business people can’t afford to be in denial.

  2. Melting ice caps? I guess everyone here knows about oceanic anoxic events and the shutdown of thermohaline circulation…

    One of my preferred doom and gloom scenarii…

  3. Before freaking out remember that Amundson sailed the passage in 1906 and it was ice free then as well.  NOT AT ALL DENYING GLOBAL WARMING – just pointing out that there have been recent periods when the northwest passage was ice free and navigable.

    1. Amundsen’s route followed the northern coast of the mainland.  These guys took McClure strait which is much further north.  This was very definitely a low ice year.

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