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“Pink slips for Obama’s jobs council” (open thread)

A major expanse of shipping lanes may open up soon in the Arctic Sea — and it’s the fabled Northwest Passage that Lewis & Clark and other less lucky explorers sought. The route could be in full operation by 2050.

Bronwyn added that:

A major expanse of shipping lanes may open up soon in the Arctic Sea — and it’s the fabled Northwest Passage that Lewis & Clark and other less lucky explorers sought. The route could be in full operation by 2050.

You should also know that there’ll be a battle royale between Canada and the United States for control.  And heavy economic losses to the Panama Canal as well as ports in Seattle, Tacoma, and other West Coast cities.

Talk about a sea change.

You should also know that there’ll be a battle royale between Canada and the United States for control.  And heavy economic losses to the Panama Canal as well as ports in Seattle, Tacoma, and other West Coast cities.”

Fox News provided a video from the Bret Baier program:

The Economist added:

Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s (RDSA, RDSB) plans to continue to explore Arctic waters for oil this year hinge on how quickly it can repair an oil rig damaged last week off the coast of Alaska, according to analysts.

Shell’s $4.5 billion Arctic drilling program hit its latest setback shortly before New Year’s Eve, when its Kulluk oil rig slipped away from the tug pulling it to Seattle for maintenance and crashed into the uninhabited Sitkalidak Island southeast of Anchorage. The rig remained wedged in rocks for nearly a week before Shell towed it Monday to Kodiak Island’s Kiliuda Bay to assess its condition.

From the article, “The roar of ice cracking” by The Economist:

SOMETIMES a small event gives you mental whiplash. An example is Singapore’s application for permanent observer status at the Arctic Council. This is made up of the eight states that have territory within the Arctic circle: the United States, Canada, Denmark (representing Greenland and the Faroes), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. But Singapore sits at the equator, as far from either pole as it is possible to be. How can it be interested?

The answer is that in 2012, as the summer ice melted, 46 ships sailed through Arctic waters, according to Arctis, a research group, mostly from Far Eastern ports to Europe. They carried 1.2m tonnes of cargo, a third more than in 2011. This “northern route” could erode Singapore’s position as a global shipping hub. And the melting of the Greenland glaciers could threaten its existence: Singapore’s highest point, Bukit Timah, is only 164m (538ft) above sea level.

I hope that you will enjoy the articles at Fox News and The Economist.