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.”