What New Thing Will Power the World Economy? Power, Of Course

If the world continues to warm and the waters continue to rise, the tropics will suffer and the poles will prevail. Arctic tourism, research and development is already booming as scientists and businessmen flock to the New North in search of energy resources that will power the next generation. Here's a selection from the WSJ's great story:

If Florida coasts become uninsurable and California enters a long-term drought, might people consider moving to Minnesota or Alberta? Will Spaniards eye Sweden? Might Russia one day, its population falling and needful of immigrants, decide a smarter alternative to resurrecting old Soviet plans for a 1,600-mile Siberia-Aral canal is to simply invite former Kazakh and Uzbek cotton farmers to abandon their dusty fields and resettle Siberia, to work in the gas fields?

Today, scientists studying oil and gas potential--and how shrinking summer sea ice might make it easier to access offshore deposits--are convincing governments and investors that the region has rising strategic value. Private companies have snapped up Canada's northernmost railroad and port of Churchill, bought $2.8 billion in Arctic offshore energy leases, and begun developing specialized tanker ships and platforms for offshore drilling in icy environments. This year, Russia and Norway resolved a four-decade-long boundary dispute in the Arctic Ocean, which could pave the way to more offshore development. Canada, Norway and Russia are bolstering their militaries with ice-strengthened patrol ships, frigates, attack submarines and fighter jets.

Read the full story at WSJ.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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