Arctic sea ice contracts to its lowest level since records began. This has become a predictable August news story; it used to be a September story but the ‘summer minimum’ now happens earlier. In 2007, the IPPC predicted an ice-free Arctic by the end of the century. Most climate experts now say 2030; some even dare to say within 10 years.
In early August, melting sea ice opened the North East Passage along the coast of Russia and Scandinavia. Russia planted that flag on the ocean floor in 2007 for a reason; ‘Prirazlomnaya’ is the world’s first ice-resistant oil platform and will make Gazprom the first company to pump oil from the Arctic region.
Gazprom does not have an oil spill plan, the technology doesn’t exist to clean up spills in such low temperatures. Small operational spills, which happen all the time on oil rigs, are inevitable and will…
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