The Mind-Boggling Industrial Future of the Arctic

The Arctic, located at the top your globes, is a very cold place covered in snow and ice. For now. But not for long. There are plenty of business people already making plans to industrialize the hell out of this frozen wasteland.

It's been clear for some time now that global warming is about to lead us to a time when vast reserves of minerals and whatnot that have always been covered with ice will be uncovered as the ice melts, and hey, someone gotta dig that stuff up! ($$$). The whole nation of Greenland, for example, has recently become Mr. Popularity On Earth, as first world nations jockey to become friends with it so they can start exploiting its natural resources ASAP.

This is the world we live in. We may soon see the most drastic transformation of a landscape in human history in the Arctic—from absolutely no development to hardcore industrialization in as short a time as investors can possibly make it happen. Today's Bloomberg story on business prospects in the Arctic boggles the mind:

He's talking about the Arctic, which Scott Minerd, the chief investment officer of [$210 billion management firm] Guggenheim Partners LLC, calls "not just the best opportunity of our generation, but of the last 12,000 years."...

Companies will spend an estimated $100 billion in the Arctic over the next decade, according to Lloyd's of London Ltd, the world's oldest insurance market

The potential for amazing new kinds of disasters defies imagination. Like maybe there could be an oil spill, and then it could freeze, and then it could catch on fire—and Bruce Willis is the only roughneck loner with the grit to get us all out of here alive. Is that... a polar bear? Yes—and he's also mad, because he's on fire too.

What an interesting time to be a human!

[Photo: AP]