Greenland to Hillary Clinton: We Like Global Warming, Thank You Very Much
Global warming has been kind to Greenland, expanding tourism and with it economic opportunity and giving farmers a growing season long enough for vegetables.
But it sure makes it a bit awkward when Hillary Clinton comes there to clamor about the dangers of climate change.
From Joby Warrick's page A6 story (emphasis mine):
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NUUK, Greenland — Few places on Earth have seen starker changes in weather than this icebound island straddling the Arctic Circle. With that in mind, America’s top diplomat arrived here this week intent on calling attention to the perils of climate change.
The problem was that Greenlanders aren’t exactly complaining.
In fact, as Secretary of State of Hillary Rodham Clinton toured snow-covered fjords on Thursday, there were awkward reminders of Greenland’s embrace of the rise in temperatures that began two decades ago. Rather than questioning global warming, many of this island’s 60,000 inhabitants seem to be racing to cash in.
The tiny capital of Nuuk is bracing for record numbers of visitors this year; the retreating sea ice means a longer tourist season and more cruise ships from the United States. Hunters are boasting of more and bigger caribou, and the annual cod migration is starting earlier and lasting longer.
In the far south, farmers are trying their hand at an exotic form of agriculture: growing vegetables.
“Before, the growing season was too short for vegetables,” said Noah Melgaard, a local journalist. “Now it is getting longer each year.”
For Clinton, who was visiting Greenland for a meeting of the eight-nation Arctic Council, it was one of several jarring contradictions that threatened at times to distract from the messages she traveled 2,000 miles to deliver. The secretary argued for a global response to climate change but had to acknowledge that the United States — the single biggest source of greenhouse-gas pollution — has failed to ratify international treaties on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Clinton appealed to Arctic nations at council meetings to coordinate their policies on oil and gas exploration near the North Pole. But afterward she was questioned about the U.S. Senate’s refusal to approve the 1982 Law of the Sea convention, the landmark treaty that regulates countries’ rights to exploit mineral resources up to 200 miles from their coastline.
“It’s been challenging in our political system to take the kinds of actions that we know are dictated by the science and by what we see in front of our eyes,” Clinton said at a news conference.