Arctic Sea ice no longer blocks ships across the north coast of North America. The Northwest Passage was a hoped-for but dangerous and unreliable route until the last several years. Then, as the ice retreated, adventurous sailors made the journey, partly to prove that it could be done, partly because a reliable route would open cheap shipping between Asia and Europe. Now, the ice is thin enough or missing to allow cruise ships to make the trip. A vessel with an enormous carbon footprint carrying enormous buffets through a region dramatically affected by climate change seems to heighten cause and effect – though the cruise operators probably won’t make that point.
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