In case you haven't heard the news, Greenland is melting and fast, resulting in not one but two ironic twists. The country will actually be green in the very near future, a trend that most Greenlanders are pretty psyched about — watch the excellent mini-documentary called I (heart) Global Warming.
More ironic is that the fossil fuel emissions that are causing the hyper-speed melt in the Arctic are revealing, yes, TONS of oil locked beneath all that ice. A new offshore find by British oil company Cairn Energy near Greenland is one of the largest to date, possibly in the billions of barrels and may be the last great oil reserve on Earth.
Two test wells have been drilled, and after dispatching one vessel to the Gulf to study the effects of the devastating oil U.S. spill, Greenpeace has sent another ship to Greenland to send a strong message that a massive oil operation in the fragile Arctic waters could lead to far greater impacts.
Unlocking another 10 or 20 years of oil would only delay our adoption of clean energy solutions for our transportation needs, and the gigatons of CO2 that would be emitted as a result would, according to the latest climate research, put us past the point of no return in terms of regulating global temperature rise.
Cairn's stock value shot up after the announcement of the find. But is this a windfall we as a species can survive?
UPDATE 9/1: Greenpeace activists successfully evaded the blockade around the Cairn oil rig off the coast of Greenland and they are now occupying the rig. Here is the video: