The Arctic is awakening.
The wintry sleeping land of yesteryear is today at the beginning of a great era of transformation, as global warming opens up the northern sea lanes and resource shortages elsewhere attract oil prospectors, mining conglomerates, and sundry businessmen, traders, settlers, and investors.
A new world is coming into being – a world centered on the Arctic.
In the old world, shipping has to hazard the pirates of the Malacca Strait, and the toll booths of Panama and Suez. In the new world, the journey is cut in half, and the precipitous melting of the Arctic sea ice means that you don’t even always need an icebreaker nowadays.
No wonder that the number of ships plying the Northern Sea Route is growing exponentially, from four such voyages in 2010 to 34 in 2011, and 46 in 2012.
New Rare Earth Metals mines, aluminium smelters, and oil platforms are appeared all across the Arctic Rimlands. Remote ports, flushed with the proceeds of resurgent commerce, are becoming thriving entrepôts across the Arctic.
Prescient investors are making a killing.
Take inspiration from OmniTRAX, a Colorado-based company that bought the derelict Port of Churchill and its railway from the Manitoba government for a bargain basement price of $10 in 1998. Now that Hudson Bay has become clear of sea ice during the summer, just a little more than a decade later, these once worthless assets now cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Do you want to observe from the sidelines? Or do you want to come along for the ride of the century?
If so, you’ll need timely information on Arctic matters. Sign up to the Arctic Progress newsletter, which is sent out thrice a week, for the latest in Arctic news, analysis, and market data.
PS. This used to be a blog about Arctic matters. I closed it down to concentrate my efforts on other projects, but you can still access some of the old posts here. Rest assured that this site will not die. It will be relaunched as an Arctic subscription based news and analysis service sometime in the indefinite future.