The upside of global warming

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Sure, global warming may turn fertile fields into deserts and sink coastal cities under rising seas — but think of the money-making opportunities! The CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR reports that the Earth’s human-driven warm-up is melting the polar ice cap in the Canadian Arctic, which could open the Northwest Passage to commercial shipping within a few decades. Cool!

This is the shortcut Columbus dreamed of. It’s an alternative to the oh-so-last-century Panama Canal. And one day soon, the Northwest Passage could present the perfect waterway for shipping Alaskan oil to Europe. The very possibity of that happening has got people whispering about who would control the lucrative trade route. Canada has asserted sovereignty, which the US has challenged. Some think only an international body would do; considering how an oil spill would wreak havoc on the Arctic ecosystem, whose environmental regulations should govern the new frontier?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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