Wash. Post columnist says Greenland is a great investment because melting sea ice will open up shipping routes

Marc Thiessen gushes over Trump's attempt to buy Greenland: “It could be the next Panama Canal”

During an appearance on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom to defend President Donald Trump’s interest in buying Greenland, Washington Post columnist and American Enterprise Institute fellow Marc Thiessen claimed that melting sea ice is a benefit of global warming because it will open up shipping routes.

The negative impacts of global warming far outweigh any positives. While melting sea ice will indeed open up shipping routes, a melting Greenland will have absolutely catastrophic consequences for the planet. The island has enough ice to raise global sea levels by more than 20 feet -- enough to drown major coastal cities around the world. Melting ice in Greenland also contains methane, which will significantly worsen global warming.

It is simply absurd to discuss the economic benefits of melting sea ice without considering the far worse and more drastic consequences that will come with it. Unfortunately, at least one high-ranking official in the Trump administration has already made a similar claim. In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the claim that melting sea ice is good for industry, as it could turn the Arctic into a “21st century Panama Canal.”

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Citation From the August 21 edition of America’s Newsroom

SANDRA SMITH (ANCHOR): I want to go now to this talk about Greenland. What do you make of all of this? Now the president says he won't go to Denmark because they kind of said he can't be serious about this. Should it be taken seriously?

MARC THIESSEN (WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST): Well first of all, I don't understand why people are dismissing this like it’s some sort of a crazy idea. He’s not the first president to want to buy Greenland. In 1946, Harry Truman offered Denmark $100 million in gold bars in exchange for Greenland because it was a necessary -- it had a military necessity at the time. It’s strategically placed, and now that the military reason isn't there anymore because we have a military base there in perpetuity. But it has incredible natural resources. And actually what makes it even more valuable is global warming. Because the sea ice is melting, you can create a trade route, a -- shipping lanes through the Arctic that could cut 20 days off of the shipping from Asia to the west. So it could be the next Panama Canal. You know there are benefits to global warming as well as downsides. But for all these reasons Denmark might not want to sell because actually they’re sitting on a gold mine. So it's not crazy for Donald Trump to want to buy it and it's not crazy for Denmark to not want to sell.

SMITH: Interesting perspective. Marc Thiessen, always good to talk to you. Thank you.

THIESSEN: All right, great to be with you, thanks.